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# How does an airplane wing work?

How does an airplane wing work?

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An airplane wing is a wonder of physics...but is a fairly simple concept to understand....As air rushes by the wing some goes under some goes over the part that goes under at one speed is faster in relation to the speed of the volume of air that went over the top the reason of course is the curved surface is longer across the top. Now as in many thing in nature if you have a small void in the atmosphere there is plenty of air to fill it in but if that void is perpetuated the wing will experience a change in its dynamics if there is no air on one side and air on the other the side with the air is bound to move to ward the region with no air..the Lift that is created by the wing is in direct proportion to the speed (amount) of the air. The curvature of the wing and the density of the air...there is a fluid dynamic law that is a good example of this in Bernoulli's Principle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernoulli's_principle just change the fluid part to gas and your there. Sometimes the vacuum created over the wing will create ice or even water vapor to form at the turbulent edges. Airplane wings are a wonder of physics throw in some leading edge flaps trim tabs big flaps ailerons and swept designs your really cooking...From the E

• 5 years ago

Newton's Third Law, action-reaction is most directly responsible: air hits the bottom of the wing, bounces off and pushes the wing up. Wind tunnel experiments show the pressure is actually greatest on the FRONT of the wing, more than just the bottom.

Bernoulli's principle doesn't directly apply. This is a common misunderstanding. Bernoulli's was about confined inviscous liquids with laminar flow, not compressible turbulent air in open atmosphere. The dynamics of air flow are far more complex. There are some similarities, but using Bernoulli's to explain how wings work will lead to other incorrect conclusions as the parallel between liquids and gases is extended.

The curvature of the wing is there to reduce turbulence, but for low speeds, a curved wing is not required, otherwise flat wings on model planes would never work.

An airplane wing is a device which creates lift (upward force) and also drag (backward force) as it travels forward through the air. The lift comes from two effects, and the drag from two other effects.

Lift:

1)

The wing's cross section is usually curved (concave downward). This is known as 'camber'. It creates a longer path for the air going over the upper surface. The air travels faster over the upper surface, and, according to Bernoulli's principle, the faster the air moves, the lower its pressure becomes. With lower pressure above the wing, the higher pressure air underneath creates a net upward force on the wing.

2)

The airplane cruises with the wing tilted upward into the airstream. This angle is known as the 'angle of attack'. This angling pushes air downward in the plane's wake. By Newton's third law, if the wing pushes the air downwards, the air pushes the wing upwards. That is the second source of lift, and the majority of the lift when flying at medium to high angles of attack.

At zero degrees angle of attack, a cambered wing still makes a small amount of lift from the Bernoulli effect. A flat, symmetrical wing will make zero lift at zero angle of attack.

Drag:

1)

Form drag is the drag an object experiences when pushing a fluid out of the way. Air has a surprisingly large mass, and a fast-moving commercial jet pushes thousands of pounds of air out of its way each second. This constant collision with the air manifests itself as a drag force which must be overcome using the airplane's engines.

2)

Viscous drag is the drag an object experiences when the fluid near the surface of the object 'clings' to it, forming a boundary layer. A smooth surface creates less viscous drag, so airlines are careful to keep their planes washed and waxed.

a propellor or jet engine causes the airplane to move forward, relative to the air.

As the air moves past the wing, the air above must move faster than the air below, due to the shape of the wing (more surface area on top, typically). Faster air has less pressure. With less pressure above, and more pressure below (relatively), the wing is pushed up, provided the pressure difference exceeds the force of gravity.