Flight


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Ever since I started school at Penn State, I have been flying lots of planes back and forth across the country. I love sitting by the window to watch the changing skies and landscapes, but also to watch the flaps on the wings. I have never taken physics so I didn't fully understand how lift and all that worked so I did some research and what I found out was very interesting.
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The website HowStuffWorks clarifies that flight can be explained using fluid mechanics. Gases are classified as fluids along with liquids and considering their movement, it makes a lot of sense. What makes flight possible is the relationship between four factors: lift, weight, drag, and thrust.Obviously, the force of lift and thrust have to be stronger than that of weight and drag in order to get forward and upward movement. I learned that lift is possible only when the fluid is moving around a stationary object (like a kite) or when the object is moving through a stationary fluid (like a plane through air). When air is split over and under the wing, the air above it is faster , creating lower pressure than below and this is what causes the aircraft to gain altitude. In order to turn, the pilot alters the angle of the wings using flaps to dive down on one side, while going up on the other in order to roll into the turn.
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1 Comment

I find myself wondering how it is that I am "floating" in the sky when I fly. I think this is a pretty good explanation of flight, but I had a hard time picturing what it looked like, even though I have been in plenty of airplanes to know what flying is like, so I searched on youtube how airplanes fly and found this video that explains the same thing you did pretty much. I think it would have been great had you added what allows planes to be capable of flight, like maybe the way they're built or the materials used to build them. I tried the whole, jump off your roof top with an umbrella to fly thing and it didn't work. Cars obviously can't fly so what does it take in order to create flight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ltjFEei3AI

it's crazy to think that all of these things are possible on earth.

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