How Do Things Fly

How do things stay up in the air?

VOTD-Red-Bull-PlaneEven if you haven’t been on a plane yourself, you’ve probably wondered how an enormous metal thing can get up into the air – and stay there!

Moving forward through the air is called thrust.  When you throw a paper plane, it will hit the floor when it runs out of thrust.  Real planes have engines or propellers to keep them moving.

But it won’t get off the ground without lift.  And that’s created by the wings.  A wing is shaped so that the air moving over it travels faster than the air moving under it.  As air speeds up, its pressure drops.

All this means is that the air above the wing pushes DOWN less than the air below is pushing UP.  This means up “wins” and the plane takes off!

Why not have a try at making some paper planes?  How does the shape and size of the wings affect its flight?

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