Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    11
  • comments
    23
  • views
    207

Flight Physics

Sign in to follow this  
krdavis18

17 views

Flight is a magnificent natural ability of birds and what seems like a tremendous accomplishment for man-made aircraft's that average at a weight of over 300 tons. So I thought I would explore more into this amazing ability and the physics behind it. Here is what I learned.
In order to fly, a bird or a plane must overcome both the force of gravity and drag forces as it is moving through the air. The force that opposes weight is known as lift and the force that opposes drag is called thrust. Lift is generated from the shape of the wings that cause air to move faster over the top of the wings and slower underneath. This means that there is lower air pressure above the wings and higher air pressure underneath them. The force from the pressure difference which is called the life force, exceeds the weight of the bird and the bird is able to fly. Here is an image demonstrating what is called the Bernoulli effect.
bernoull.jpg
When you look into an amount of lift that a pair of wings can produce, you have to take in to consideration factors such as wing size, air speed, air density, and the angle of the wings with respect to the direction of the flight. A wings lift is directly proportional to the surface area of the wing, so a wing twice as large can carry twice as much weight. To simplify the relationship between lift and airspeed and air density, it can be said that if a bird flies twice as fast, it can generate four times as much lift. And if a plane flies where the air density is a quarter of the density of the air at sea level, then it must fly twice as fast to maintain the same amount of lift. Lastly, lift increases as angle of attack increases, but only up to a certain critical angle. The angle of attack is the angle between the wing and the direction of the oncoming wind. Past that critical angle, stall occurs as the air stops flowing smoothly over the top surface and instead peels away, leaving a turbulent wake. 

Prettu interesting!! To read more on this topic and where I found most of my information, check out this presentation:

flght_of_brdv2ed.pdf

 

Sign in to follow this  


0 Comments


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Terms of Use

The pages of APlusPhysics.com, Physics in Action podcasts, and other online media at this site are made available as a service to physics students, instructors, and others. Their use is encouraged and is free of charge. Teachers who wish to use materials either in a classroom demonstration format or as part of an interactive activity/lesson are granted permission (and encouraged) to do so. Linking to information on this site is allowed and encouraged, but content from APlusPhysics may not be made available elsewhere on the Internet without the author's written permission.

Copyright Notice

APlusPhysics.com, Silly Beagle Productions and Physics In Action materials are copyright protected and the author restricts their use to online usage through a live internet connection. Any downloading of files to other storage devices (hard drives, web servers, school servers, CDs, etc.) with the exception of Physics In Action podcast episodes is prohibited. The use of images, text and animations in other projects (including non-profit endeavors) is also prohibited. Requests for permission to use such material on other projects may be submitted in writing to info@aplusphysics.com. Licensing of the content of APlusPhysics.com for other uses may be considered in the future.

×