Air Europa Blog

The AirEuropa Blog

6 April 2022

How do airplanes fly?

Dreamliner Air Europa

If you have seen airplanes taking off from an airport or if you have flown in one of them, you may think that it is a simple question.

The answer, however, is not so. Surprisingly, it has different explanations depending on the angle you look at it.

We will try to briefly summarize how an aircraft weighting more than 200 tons can fly at a height of 10 kilometers, but if we mention Sir Isaac Newton, it may shed some light: .

It is relatively easy to imagine that fundamental forces are exerted on airplanes in flight:

First of all, the thrust generated by the engines moves it forward, while aerodynamic drag exerts a force in the opposite direction, backwards.

Second, the weight obviously pushes it down and the lift, our beloved lift, balances that weight and keeps it aloft.

How do you get that lift? Although there are explanations about the Bernoulli Principle or the Venturi Principle.

The truth is that we owe Isaac Newton the most accurate version, as we have just told you a few lines above.

Let us recall the Principles of Physics, specifically the third law or Principle of Action and Reaction.

Avión Air Europa despegando

Aircraft wings, true feats of engineering within the aircraft as a whole, are responsible for moving tons and tons of air downward per second, with their shape and attack angle as planes travel through the skies.

All this force, according to Newton’s Third Law, causes a force of equal magnitude but in the opposite direction, upward, which keeps the airplanes in flight.

We cannot forget speed either, essential to guarantee the constant air stream that the plane needs to fly.

Therefore, the aerodynamics of both the fuselage and the wing itself, are taken care of to the minimum detail, lowering the air resistance, which translates into less thrust needed to maintain speed.

Which translates into lower fuel consumption, which in turn, translates into less aircraft weight.

Dreamliner Air Europa

At the end, we cannot finish this little explanation without resorting to the fantastic article of Microsiervos.

In this article, where they deal with this topic in a much more detailed and didactic manner.

If we understand how airplanes fly, many more questions can arise such as how do they take off?

And how do they land?

How do they turn, go up or down?

What are all the pieces that unfold on the wings for?

Cabina Avión

Do you want to know all the ins and outs of aviation?

Well, we will be around to answer all these and many other questions!

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