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Reverse thrust is thrust in the opposite direction to normal (opposite to the aircraft direction of motion) used to decelerate an aircraft after landing, in the event of a rejected take off or, in some limited cases, in flight.
On many aircraft types, reverse thrust capability is installed to augment wheel brakes in decelerating the aircraft. This feature can significantly increase deceleration rates and reduce landing distance or stopping distance in the event of a rejected takeoff. On some aircraft, reverse thrust can be used to allow the aircraft to back up under its own power. On a limited number of aircraft types such as the C17 Globemaster, reverse thrust can be utilised in flight to significantly increase descent rate without a corresponding increase in airspeed.