Jump to content

How do airplanes fly?


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_LeChatNinjah_*

Posted 19 February 2013 - 03:46 AM

Yes, I'm freaking out.

Am taking all of my kids on a flying hunk of metal in the morning and am utterly terrified.  I've flown zillions of miles in my life so far and still am sh*t scared.  It's a huge hunk of metal.  It weighs a lot.  I know there's something about speed and wind and wing shape.

I am also a bit of a science geek, so if there is anyone out there on EB who can put it to me in simple terms of physics that will make me not vomit with fear on takeoff please post now.

unsure.gif

Will need to be VERY simple terms of physics.



#2 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:50 AM

Air pressure.

Due to the curved shape of the wing, as the plane moves through the air the distance for the air to travel over the wing is longer than the distance than under it.   Like being on the outside of the racetrack.   So there's always more air (per square metre) under the wing than over it and that holds it up.

#3 TheWanderer

Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:00 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCcZyW-6-5o

#4 tenar

Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:27 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lift_%28force%29

Aeroplanes are by far the safest form of travel.  You are in much more danger driving to the airport.  Do you worry every time you put all the kids in the car?  I thought not...

Have a nice trip.

#5 cinnabubble

Posted 19 February 2013 - 06:51 AM

They don't so mch fly as fall upwards.

HTH

#6 Kay1

Posted 19 February 2013 - 07:00 AM

cinnabubble you are wicked!! laughing2.gif

Just try to think about all the airports all over the world full of planes and people. All landing safely. Yours will be one of them.

#7 EssentialBludger

Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:34 AM

Just don't watch air crash investigations the day before a flight. I made that mistake once. Good trip that one. unsure.gif

Edited by EssentialBludger, 19 February 2013 - 08:34 AM.


#8 hunter4

Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:35 AM

Ok basic aerodynamic lesson (as learnt during 4 year aeronautical engineering course).

Basically a plane fly due to just four forces.  Thrust (procuded by the engines) and Drag (think of it as the friction of the plane moving through the air).  If you have more thrust that you do drag you go forwards.  Then there's Weight (ovbiously the weight of the plane), and Lift (as produced by the wing). if you've got more lift than weight the plane will stay up in the air.

What creats lift. Basically the shape and size of the wings. When the air rushes around the correctly shaped  and angled wing  the air going over the top of the wing has further to go which means it has to go faster which in turn reduces the pressure above the wing.  The air going below the wing is going slower because it doesn't have as far to go, which creates a higher pressure.  to try and equalise the pressure above and below the wing the wing will move upwards (i.e lift is created).   The amount of lift you can then create with the wing depends on the angle and shape of the wing, the size of the wing and the speed of the plane (that's what take off is about, getting the plane to a speed where the lift created is greater than the weight of the plane).

As PP's have said, it is still the safest form of travel.  And something else to remember - everything on an aircraft is designed to withstand crash loads - thats up to 9 times the normal forces that the aircraft sees in flight - on top of that there's always a 1.5 safety factor included in every calculation, then there's the fatigue analyses that are performed.  Believe me - planes are inherently safe structures.

Good luck on your flight.  Hope all goes smoothly.


#9 wilding

Posted 19 February 2013 - 10:11 AM

When my son was little, he use to think that planes flapped their wings like a bird to fly. I always have trouble on take off and landing, but once in the air I'm fine. I'd rather fly then drive.


EBludger, i'm obsessed with air crash investigations  ph34r.gif

#10 JJ

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

QUOTE (wilding @ 19/02/2013, 10:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When my son was little, he use to think that planes flapped their wings like a bird to fly. I always have trouble on take off and landing, but once in the air I'm fine. I'd rather fly then drive.


EBludger, i'm obsessed with air crash investigations  ph34r.gif



I think the Nazis had a plane like that - not sure if it was ever built or they just had plans for it (they had lots of plans for very "out there" things before they lost the war). I think they may have got as far as making a prototype, but don't quote me on that. It wasn't exactly flapping its wings, but pretty close to it. Freaky!

I'm obsessed with ACI too. I've seen every single episode ever made, and many of them several times. ph34r.gif

(And as they say, a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing - definitely true when it comes to learning bits and bobs off a show like ACI and then having to fly!)

#11 elizabethany

Posted 19 February 2013 - 11:19 AM

If you like the practical stuff, you can show the air pressure causes movement at home quite easily.

Take 2 inflated ballons, and hang them so the can move freely, about 5cm apart at their closest point.  Get a straw, and gently blow between the balloons.  This creates air that is going faster on one side of the ballon than the other.  The ballons, instead of being blown apart, will actually move together.

And if you are a cricket tragic, it is also the physics behind polishing the ball on one side, but not the other.  The air can travel past the smooth side more easily and therefore more quickly, causes a lower pressure area, and the ball gets a bend in the direction it goes in.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Five ways my second pregnancy is second best

As I roll into the second half of "Pregnancy: The Sequel", here is breakdown of the differences I have found thus far.

Domestic politics

Why I felt guilty about having a cleaner

Coming home to a clean house was a pleasure – and yet, I felt uneasy.

'Ugly' hearing aid ad leaves parents fuming

When Alecia Donoghue found out her baby would need hearing aids she worried about him becoming the target for schoolyard bullies.

Have you seen these missing children?

The Australian Federal Police has released the following information to locate some of Australia's missing children through the Family Law Court.

Margarita time

Keira Knightley welcomes first child

British actress Keira Knightley has become a first-time mother.

IVF patients in the dark over which clinics are least successful

Couples with fertility problems have little way of knowing which IVF clinics are the best performers despite significant differences between clinic success rates.

Couple forced to defend their decision to become parents

They met, fell in love and got married. Then, just like couples everywhere, Simon and Vicky Moore decided it was time to have a baby.

The one parenting tip that made all the difference

Amongst the useless, ill-informed advice we're given as new parents, many of us also receive nuggets of wisdom that make our lives just that little bit easier.

Five lies you tell yourself when you're pregnant

You can see it all now: glowing mumma with her gorgeous babe ... you know exactly what you're going to be like. Or perhaps you know exactly what you're not going to be like.

Family expecting fourth set of twins

A couple is expecting their fourth set of twins in five years.

The day my daughter almost drowned

We had six adults standing there, so I felt like I could relax a bit. After all, what could go wrong with so much supervision?

Sydney siege survivor names baby after victim Katrina Dawson

A Sydney barrister who survived the Lindt cafe siege has named her newborn daughter after her best friend who died in the tragedy.

The universal working mother experience

These days mothers need more than just traditional career advice.

Obama feels full force of toddler tantrum

Shopping centres, restaurants, the White House ... the list of places toddlers like to throw tantrums is endless.

Banishing bloat

How to avoid a bloated tummy

Here are some foods to eat in order to escape feeling ghastly and gassy.

The great new picture book for anxious kids

My son is a worrier by nature. I learnt long ago that it was completely pointless to say to him "Don't worry about it!".

Budget stripped more than $15b from families

The combined impact of the two budgets for low and middle income people was "devastating", new analysis by the Australian Council of Social Service shows.

Pregnant women urged to get flu shots

As the winter chill starts to arrive, NSW Health is urging pregnant women to get their flu shots.

65-year-old gives birth to quadruplets

A 65-year-old German woman, who already has 13 children, has given birth to quadruplets.

What you need to know about pregnancy and health insurance

It's not just waiting periods that couples need to consider - there are other factors to consider when thinking about health insurance.

Yummy mummy

Nicole Trunfio breastfeeds baby on Elle magazine cover

Australian model Nicole Trunfio has taken the concept of multitasking to a fashionable new level for Elle Australia.

Warnings after baby girl died while sleeping in bouncer

Parents have been warned about the dangers of letting babies sleep in bouncers and swings following the death of a three-month-old girl.

Coping with fatigue as a parent

Sleep deprivation is a real hazard of caring for a baby. But there are ways to manage the challenges of fatigue better.

A very 21st century issue: parents, parks and smart phones

It's not all the parents, and it's not all the time, but there is often at least one doing it. And sometimes, that 'one' is me.

Appliances

Faulty washing machines linked to house fires

More than 80,000 faulty Samsung washing machines pose a fire threat in homes throughout Australia despite a nationwide recall of the machines.

7 things you might not know about postnatal depression

Despite its widespread nature, there is still a great amount of mystery surrounding PND - and it's important to try unravelling as much of that as we can.

Seven questions you should be asking about your health cover

If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there?s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. To ensure it?s still right for your family, click here for seven questions to ask.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

How to use gas effectively in labour

Many women in labour don't use gas effectively and suffer more side effects than benefits. Here's how to get the most out of this pain relief option.

'He has gastro but that's okay, right?': sick kid etiquette

We cannot place all children who are sick in a bubble till they recover, but we can give other parents a choice about exposing their kids to them.

Welcome to Winter

Now that the colder months are here, Essential Baby as all the information you need for staying healthy and happy during the chilly season.

Ada Nicodemou: 'I can never be completely happy again'

Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.

10 things to consider when you're thinking about trying for a baby

Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.

How special surgery and IVF can create a post-vasectomy baby

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.

Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.

Doctor's mobile phone 'left inside c-section mum'

A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.

I'm a mum and I'm following my dreams

I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.

Those first daycare days

I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.

'If one person had listened, my life would have been so different'

Katherine's father will die in prison for the horrifying sexual abuse of his daughter. Yet she is the one with the true life sentence.

This new plan undermines breastfeeding and baby health at everyone's expense

Mothers, babies, the health system and the wider society are going to pay the price of this new budget.

Couple to celebrate terminally ill baby's birthday in unique way

Baby Jai Bishop has lived at Starship Hospital for the past seven months, with his parents flying back and forth from Hokitika, 1100km away, to be by his side.

Life On Mars

It's men who need 'retraining', not women

We are all responsible for our own behaviour. Telling victims to harden up is wrong.

Baby Gammy's dad tries to claim charity money

The biological father of baby Gammy has reportedly tried to access charity money raised for the little boy's medical costs.

Where are the childcare places?

It?s all very well to encourage women to work if they choose to, but how can the measures lead to increased workforce participation when women are once again left holding the baby?

The pain of not having babies and not knowing why

After seven years of wishing, hoping, crying, punching pillows and shouting "why me?!", the end result is more than I ever thought possible.

Getting your family finances in order

Whether you're after a new car for a growing family, a bigger house, or are just fixing up your finances, here are the basics on borrowing.

Mum shares graphic selfie to warn against tanning

A mum has shared a graphic photo of her skin cancer treatment as a warning to others.

Does parenthood make us happier?

We can certainly gain higher levels of happiness when we become parents, but the trick is to not get overwhelmed by the pressures of raising our kids.

No, having a dog is not like having a human child

It's obvious these people dote on their pets, but they're barking up the wrong tree.

 

Top baby names

Baby Names

The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.