Pressure on a Wing

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What do we mean by differences in pressure?  What do we mean by lift?

 

Smaller/Weaker/Lower Pressure

Greater/Stronger/Higher Pressure

 

Lets look at a wing. See how the wing of this plane is angled slightly upward? The wing has something called an “angle of attack.” As the plane moves forward, air pushes on the bottom of the wing resulting in an increase pressure.

 

The wing moves up as it pushes air down. Meanwhile, on top of the wing, the rushing air creates a low pressure. The difference between the high and the low pressure generates lift.

 

How a wing generates lift

Have you ever wondered why an airplane wing is curved? The curvature is called “camber.” Camber allows airplanes to generate lift at slower airspeeds. Camber also helps to accentuate the differences in pressure on a wing- In a sense, camber increases lift.

 

 

Faster Air = lower pressure

Slower air = higher pressure

 

Here is the secret of lift: For an airplane to fly there must be greater/stronger/higher air pressure under a wing and smaller/weaker/lower air pressure on top.

 

Bernoulli’s Principle, states that pressure decreases when air moves faster. Air moves faster over the top of a wing, which results in an area of lower pressure. Meanwhile, the bottom of the wing experiences higher pressure. Camber increases the difference in air pressure between the top and bottom surfaces.

 

Here’s a common mistake: Some people think lift is due solely to the camber of the wing. Not true. A cambered wing only increases the differences in pressure that create lift. The dominant factor in the creation of lift is the angle of attack of the wing. 

 

 

 

Lift is best explained by examining Newton’s laws. For instance, according to Newton’s 3rd Law, wings push on the air and the air pushes back with an equal and opposite force. The result of tons of air being pushed down is that the plane is pushed up! The camber of a wing and its angle of attack deflect air downward. The following link explains how this occurs in greater detail: How a wing generates lift

 

 

 

 

  

Have you ever wondered how a plane with a cambered wing can fly upside down? It’ll fly as long as it has a sufficient angle of attack to create lift. The plane must have a higher air pressure under it and lower air pressure above it.

 

 

The Wright brothers did a lot of tests to determine which wing shape would work the best. They developed wings that would generate great differences in pressure and create lift.   

 How a wing generates lift

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