Introducing the Four Forces of Flight

Introducing the Four Forces of Flight

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Ever wonder what keeps the plane up in the sky? The four forces of flight are thrust, lift, drag and weight. So, what are the four forces of flight and what do they do? Let us enumerate each of this for better understanding.

The first force, thrust,

is the force that moves the airplane forward, of which the plane’s engine is responsible. The high speed from the airplane’s thrust makes rapid air flow over the wings, which throw the air down toward the ground. From this, an upward force is generated,

Called lift which is another force of flight.

Lift overcomes the plane’s weight and holds it in the sky. Simply put, the lift pushes the airplane up; wings make lift by changing the direction and pressure of the air that crashes into them as the engines shoot them through the sky. The lift comes when the air below the airplane wing is pushing up harder than the air above it is pushing down; it is this difference in pressure that enables the plane to fly. Pressure can be reduced on a wing’s surface by making the air move over it more quickly. For additional information, the wings of a plane are shaped like a curve so that the air moves more quickly over the top of the wing, resulting in an upward push on the wing. Remember, it’s the engines that move a plane forward (i.e., thrust), but it’s the wings move it upward (i.e., lift).

Another force, called drag, slows the airplane.

For a relatable picture, drag is what you feel when you walk against a very strong wind. Airplanes are designed to let air pass around them with less drag. Planes that push a lot of air are said to have a lot of drag or resistance, to moving through the air. For planes to fly as far as possible, say, circumnavigate the globe, it should only have a minimum drag.

The other force of flight that helps keep the plane flying is weight,

which is also known as gravity. You need to keep your plane’s weight light to help fight against gravity’s pull to the ground. The force that keeps the plane in the sky is the weight, which is also the force that pulls the airplane back to Earth. Airplanes are built so that their weight is spread from front to back which keeps the airplane balanced.

For an airplane to take flight, all of these four forces should work together efficiently and effectively. To refresh your memory, what are the four main forces of flight? Four Letters to remember: TLDW-Thrust, Lift, Drag and Weight.

Introducing the Four Forces of Flight

Gen Aviation Road,Hangar #6, Mactan Cebu International Airport, Lapu-Lapu City, Central Visayas, Philippines

(+63) (32) 268 9829 / (+63) 09322689829

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