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Fundamentals of Flight

A Basic Introduction to Aerodynamics

The Four Forces of Flight

The four forces act on the airplane in flight
and also work against each other.

The Four Forces of Flight

The four forces act on the airplane in flight
and also work against each other.

The earth’s gravity pulls down on
objects and gives them weight.

Weight counteracts lift.

How do we explain lift? Newton’s Laws of Motion and Bernoulli’s Principal are used to explain lift. .What’s it take to create lift? Air and motion.

.Newton’s Second Law: force causes a change in velocity which in turn generates another force. Newton’s Third Law: net flow of air is turned down resulting in an ‘equal and opposite’ upward force.

.Newton’s Third Law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Venturi Tube  Bernouli’s first practical use of his theorem  Where are venturi tubes used today? .

you cannot push them more than a little bit apart! . No matter how hard you blow. as shown here.Hold two sheets of paper together. and blow between them.

. Bernoulli’s Theory in Action Air speeds up in the constricted space between the car & truck creating a low-pressure area. Higher pressure on the other outside pushes them together.

What is a wing?  A wing is really just half a venturi tube. .

as air speeds up. A fluid (and air acts like a fluid) speeds up as it moves through a constricted space Bernoulli’s Principle states that. its pressure goes down. .


Bernoulli's Principle: slower moving air below the wing creates greater pressure and pushes up. .

The result is an upward push on the wing--lift! .Bernoulli’s Principle: Air moving over the wing moves faster than the air below. Faster-moving air above exerts less pressure on the wing than the slower-moving air below.

.Bernoulli’s Principal: pressure variation around the wing results in a net aerodynamic pushing up.

 http://www.html .gov/WWW/Wright /airplane/shape.grc/nasa.

A wing creates lift due to a combination of Bernoulli’s Principal & Newton’s Third Law .

Interactive Wright 1901 Wind Tunnel  Interactive Wright 1901 Wind Tunnel .

Wing Shape  Internal ribs define the wings shape .



how can it fly? Can you see the airfoil? Why is the wing small? What other aerodynamic devices can you see? .This US Navy Carrier Jet has a very small wing.

How can an airplane fly upside down? .

html airplane/incline. http://www.grc.

Pitch Around the Lateral Axis .

On the horizontal tail surface. .Elevator Controls Pitch The ELEVATOR controls PITCH. This tilts the nose of the airplane up and down. decreasing or increasing lift on the tail. the elevator tilts up or down.

Roll Around Longitudinal Axis .

the two ailerons move in opposite directions. decreasing lift on one wing while increasing it on the other. On the outer rear edge of each wing. . This causes the airplane to roll to the left or right.Ailerons Control Roll The AILERONS control ROLL. up and down.

Yaw Around the vertical Axis .

. A pilot usually uses the rudder along with the ailerons to turn the airplane. pushing the tail in a left or right direction. the rudder swivels from side to side. On the vertical tail fin.Rudder Controls Yaw The RUDDER controls YAW.

”  A physics term to define magnitude and direction. . vectors to final approach course Grand Junction.Vectors: Two Kinds in Aviation  Vectors to final approach – instructions to a pilot to steer a specific course “Turn left heading 270.

Direction: 045 20 Magnitude: 20 45 o What? .Vectors  A physics term to define magnitude and direction.

etc. acceleration. .Vectors  20 What Units?  Some unit of distance. tim e. force.

Vectors .

Vectors .

Vectors  What good are they? Or. “I was told there would be No Math!”  They help us find out what happens! Adding Vectors together = Resultant .

Vectors Lift  Therefore. any “vector” can be “analyzed” or broken down into horizontal and vertical components .

Vectors: “The MATH”  Pythagorean  Properties of right triangles .

Which of these airplanes will speed up? Which will slow down? .


.Drag is the force of resistance an aircraft ‘feels’ as it moves through the air.


lift must be greater than weight.For an airplane to take off. . For an airplane to speed up while flying. thrust must be greater than drag.

you generate the thrust.Engines (either jet or propeller) typically provide the thrust for aircraft. When you fly a paper airplane. .

A propeller is a spinning wing that generates lift forward. .


What will happen when the fire-fighting plane drops its load of water? .



Airplane Parts .