Academy of Aviation

Bernoulli's Principle In Action

Let's also have some fun with Glide Ratio and other mechanics of flight.

Bernoulli's Principle

Bernoulli's principle helps explain that an aircraft can achieve lift because of the shape of its wings. They are shaped so that that air flows faster over the top of the wing and slower underneath. Fast moving air equals low air pressure while slow moving air equals high air pressure. Bernoulli’s equation implies that pressure will be lower on the upper surface of a wing, and this net pressure difference causes lift.

Glide Ratio

The Glide ratio of an aircraft is the distance of forward travel divided by the altitude lost in that distance. The glide ratio is affected by all of the four fundamental forces that act on an aircraft in flight - lift, drag, weight and thrust. If all these factors remain constant, the glide ratio will not change. A 20 to 1 glide ratio means that an aircraft would lose one foot of altitude for every twenty feet of distance travelled.

In The Cockpit

The engines are running and the plane is flying. Here's the nuts and bolts of how a smaller plane actually works. Conventional manual hydraulic controls take input from the pilot via a yoke and command the movement of the flight control actuator via cables and pulleys. This is a simpler system than fly by wire, but is heavier and lacks the safety features. Fly-by-Wire (FBW) is the generally accepted term for those flight control systems which use computers to process the flight control inputs made by the pilot or autopilot, and send corresponding electrical signals to the flight control surface actuators.

The Jumbo Aircraft

How the big planes actually fly.

The Engine

Why the big jets fly.

The Propeller

Everything you wanted to know.

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