HAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2499 posts, RR: 53 Reply 1, posted (11 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 1009 times:
The job of fairings is to keep the acceleration of air around the plane to a minimum as it slips by. If you take a look at recently designed airplanes, you'll notice the fairings have gotten a lot bigger, especially in the wing/fuselage area. Take a look at some of the newer business jets like the Cessna citationjet or Raytheon (Beech) Premier jet. They have HUGE bellies, but those fairings help smooth the airflow around the plane, causing less drag and therefore more speed for the same fuel. Of course there's a balancing act, as too much surface area increases drag. That's what computers are for these days - figuring out just how to design the aircraft for minimum drag. Small fairings may look better, but don't help as much.
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.