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

 

6 tips for a day out with a baby and toddler

Outings can be lots of fun with the kids, but there are inevitable challenges. Here's some information about days out to help you be a little more prepared.

Getting labour started: tips for a natural induction

When your baby?s due date comes and goes without so much as a pop - let alone a bang - it can be disheartening. Mums and a doula share their stories of natural inductions.

My four months of breastfeeding madness

You imagine that everyone is thinking badly of you, and you tell yourself you have to keep trying. Even though you are in an impossible situation, you still won't give yourself a break.

Little girl's foul-mouthed ice bucket challenge viewed by millions

It starts out innocently enough, but soon Scarlett-Rose Davis is letting loose with an emphatic swearword.

Australian push for compensated surrogacy

A team of Australia fertility experts has advocated legalising commercial surrogacy.

Clever panda fakes pregnancy

News that a giant panda was pregnant prompted much excitement, but it appears there were never any cubs on the way.

'I survived placenta percreta'

When writing her birth plan, Simone Pavil included an item most women wouldn?t even think about: what should happen if she was put on life support. The mum had the potentially fatal condition placenta accreta.

Managing personal space as a mum

In the midst of the early parenting years, our bodies and minds can seemingly be overtaken by our offspring. How can we balance our need for personal space with the needs of our children?

'If love could have saved you, you'd have never left'

The words "spontaneous abortion" on the hospital paperwork really got to me. My baby died; I didn't spontaneously decide to abort him.

15 classic Aussie ads

Watch some of the classic Australian ads of the 80s, 90s and 00s, and remember the catchphrases and jingles we all used to know so well ...

For and against

Should Blue Ivy have been at the VMAs?

Many were quick to condemn Beyonce and Jay Z after appearing on stage at the MTV Video Music Awards with their two-year-old daughter, but others thought it was a sweet family moment. What do you think?

Toddler attacked at gym creche

Two-year-old girl Eva Ness was left with a black eye and bite marks on her face and body after an altercation with an older child at a health club's child-minding facilities. Now her parents are calling for the centre to be closed.

Pregnancy a tricky matter of timing for FIFO couples

Manipulating rosters, coordinating 'conjugal' visits, working on site with your partner; getting pregnant can prove stressful for FIFO workers.

WIN a $100 RedBalloon for Dad

Enter now for your chance to win 1 of 5 $100 RedBalloon experience vouchers. Helping you make Dad's Day EXTRA HAPPY.

Carseats have twice as many germs as a toilet

Most parents know their child's carseat is not always squeaky clean, but they might not realise just how dirty it really is.

Doctors remove foetus from 'medical marvel' after 36 years

Doctors in India have removed the skeleton of a foetus that had been inside a woman for 36 years.

Nine months in six seconds: new parents' Vine clip a hit

We?ve seen some memorable time-lapse pregnancy and birth announcement videos before. Now one new couple has taken it to the extreme, capturing it all in just a six-second Vine video.

Sonia Kruger speaks of baby joy

Celebrity mum-to-be Sonia Kruger has spoken candidly about using donor eggs and IVF to fall pregnant at age 48.

Dressing to not impress: life through the eyes of a three-year-old

When it comes to getting dressed, my three-year-old has only one criterion: ?I don?t want to look beautiful.? And now I've worked out why.

Win back some precious time and get FREE coupons

Membership to eBay's Bubs? Corner is free and includes a $10 coupon to spend on nappies each month - a win for multitasking mums!

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

WIN a $100 RedBalloon for Dad

Enter now for your chance to win 1 of 5 $100 RedBalloon experience vouchers. Helping you make Dad's Day EXTRA HAPPY.

Win back some precious time and get FREE coupons

Membership to eBay's Bubs? Corner is free and includes a $10 coupon to spend on nappies each month - a win for multitasking mums!

Do you suffer from Precious Firstborn Syndrome?

Testing ?no more tears? shampoo in your own eyes, warming cucumber sticks so they're not cold straight from the fridge, waking a sleeping baby to check they?re still breathing: these are all symptoms of Precious Firstborn Syndrome.

Ezra's tragic death not in vain, mum says

Little Ezra was a "Harry Houdini" who loved trying to escape the family home. Now, after his tragic death, his parents are doing what they can to help others.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend ? me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum ? I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

Video: When adults act like children

Ever wondered what would happen if adults were allowed to act like children? This dad's hilarious video clip will give you an idea of what life would be like.

Mums hit hardest as flu cases skyrocket

The number of confirmed cases of influenza in Australia has doubled the number for the same time last year - and women are 25 per cent more likely to get it.

The mum who had four babies in nine months

Feeling exhausted due to the demands of caring for a baby? Imagine the life of this mum, who gave birth to three boys and one girl in just nine months.

Everything baby at Big W

Lowest prices on everything baby, only at Big W. Sale starts August 4 and ends August 20 2014.

Going viral

Daycare death shows licensing need

A baby's tragic death in a family daycare centre has underlined a need for better licensing laws in the US.

Personalised baby gifts

We've scoured the internet to find gorgeous personalised keepsakes and nursery decor to record baby name and dates. They make great gifts for christenings, name days and birthdays! (All prices in AU.)

 

Mind, body, beauty, life

Making time for me

We look at your wellbeing, covering health, relationships, beauty and fashion, mind and body.

 
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.