Dino Pteror : Physics is hard

I've been trying to figure out aerodynamics and gliding, what a drag... But what is drag?
I embarked on a mathematical adventure starring at and repurposing algebra I didn't understand.

Since mid-summer when the game was greenlit, I've been trying to conceive of new mechanics for the game, and improve player control with simple mouse controls. So I got to thinking about simple things I could do with just a mouse to control with, and I became enamored with trying to create authentic 2d glide physics, with the forward tilt controlled by player's mouse-position. And the rest as you've seen before.

It turns out that I'm not naturally gifted in understanding physics, which is a bloody shame, so it has taken me awhile to grasp the basics.

So what I need is to simulate air friction as a force that brings all movement to zero (or where the wind blows), while gravity constantly creates a downward force, whilst the ground creates a friction many times greater than air.

Also the body shape will cause the these frictions to lessen or increase, an acute triangle will only incur a fraction of the air-friction a square will. However should that acute triangle instead fall on one face flat, the air friction will (of course) be much greater.

So this is common sense, but is hard to describe, and even harder to program for someone like me.

The question I am slowly answering is how to fake some sense of those fluid-dynamics, and it is taking a long time. Once it is tackled I feel the base-mechanics will be far more compelling.