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basic question about plugins, collision and visuals

I'm just starting out with Gazebo and I did a couple of the tutorials. As far as I understand, the visuals are purely up to us, and the collision box is just there to interact with other instances in the world. Does this mean that neither of them are needed for aerodynamic calculations in the plugin? In other words, if I wanted to custom make a plane, could I simply make three rectangles of arbitrary size and shape and program their aerodynamics in liftdragplugin?