Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
  • comments
  • views

Physics of flight

Christina H.


Have you ever looked up into the sky and seen a type of air craft fly over your head. Have you ever wondered how that is possible? Many people would think that since an airplane or helicopter is so heavy there is no way that something like that could fly through the air. But through physics aircraft can fly thorugh the sky. there are four basic components of flight: thrust, drag, lift and weight. Also Newton's first, second, and third laws apply to flying.

Newton's first law claims that everybody remains in a state of rest or uniform motion unless acted upon by an external unbalanced force. There will be no change in horizontal motion if the thrust equals the drag.

Newton's second law states a body of mass subjected to force undergoes and acceleration. This is where the equation Force equals mass times acceleration. (F=ma) newtons second law defines the amount of force produced by the lift needed to overcome the effects of gravity.

Newton's third law of motion says for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Lift, drag, weight, and thrust are all components that help the airplane fly and stay in the air.

1 Comment

Recommended Comments

It is really amazing how planes are designed to carry the weight of passengers and luggage. Also the weight of gas must be accounted for while landing so that pilots don't land too hard!

Share this comment

Link to comment
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

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.

  • Create New...