Why don’t aeroplanes fall to the ground because of gravity?
Issy from Greater London and Nitisha Muddaloor from Hertfordshire (age 5-14)
This is due to the shape of the wings. As the plane moves forward air flows over and under the wings. These are designed to let the air pass more easily over the upper surface than under the underneath. Hence a build up of excess air occurs underneath the wing compared to above it. An excess pressure under the wing results which causes a resultant upward force (= excess pressure X wing area) and when this reaches the value of the weight of the aircraft (acting down), (i.e. at the take off speed) the plane takes off and flies. The shape of the wings can be altered by opening and closing flaps and so the height and speed of the plane can be adjusted so that it can climb, descend or fly at constant height. Some people are led to wonder, if it is as simple as that, how come aircraft can fly upside down?
John Kilcoyne, Scientist behind Brainiac LIVE
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