Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dynamics of Airplane Flight

Dynamics of Airplane Flight


Air is a physical substance which has weight. It has molecules which are constantly moving. Air pressure is created by the molecules moving around. Moving air has a force that will lift kites and balloons up and down. Air is a mixture of different gases; oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. All things that fly need air. Air has power to push and pull on the birds, balloons, kites and planes. In 1640, Evangelista Torricelli discovered that air has weight. When experimenting with measuring mercury, he discovered that air put pressure on the mercury.


Francesco Lana used this discovery to begin to plan for an airship in the late 1600s. He drew an airship on paper that used the idea that air has weight. The ship was a hollow sphere which would have the air taken out of it. Once the air was removed, the sphere
would have less weight and would be able to float up into the air. Each of four spheres would be attached to a boat-like structure and then the whole machine would float. The actual design was never tried. 
Hot air expands and spreads out and it becomes
lighter than cool air. When a balloon is full of hot air it rises up because the hot air expands inside the balloon. When the hot air cools and is let out of the balloon the balloon comes back down.

How Wings Lift the Plane?

Airplane wings are curved on the top which make air move faster over the top of the wing. The air moves faster over the top of a wing. It moves slower underneath the wing. The slow air pushes up from below while the faster air pushes down from the top. This forces the wing to lift up into the air.

Laws of Motion

Sir Isaac Newton proposed three laws of motion in 1665. These Laws of Motion help to explain how a planes flies.
  • If an object is not moving, it will not start moving by itself. If an object is moving, it will not stop or change direction unless something pushes it.
  • Objects will move farther and faster when they are pushed harder.
  • When an object is pushed in one direction, there is always a resistance of the same size in the opposite direction.