# The Physics of the Airplane

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The Physics of the Airplane Nowadays, an airplane is no longer a rare thing in modern life. Since the first airplane was made by Orville and Wilbur Wright in December 17, 1903. The pervasiveness of the airplane has been largely improved. The airplane can not only provide faster transfer than any other means of transportation, but also the safest one. However, have you ever wondered how the airplane works when it flying in the sky? An airplane by definition is a powered fixed-wing aircraft that is propelled forward by thrust from propeller or jet engine (Wikipedia). As the figure shows below, there are four main forces acting on the airplane, which are gravity, lift, thrust, and drag. [pic] Gravity Every object on the earth undergoes gravity, which is actually a force of acceleration. The gravity equals Mass times Acceleration, or G=ma. However, extra Gravity can be artificially generated in any direction by sudden changes in the motion of airplane. For instance, when the airplane is taking off, you feel you are pushing back into your seat. This is because the velocity of the airplane changes and exerts acceleration (The Basics of Flight). Lift “How can a heavy metal lift off the ground”? You may ask. The answer to this question is the lift of the wing, and there are two explanations about how the lift are generated. As everyone can see, the shape of the airplane wings is in a stream line form, which is flat along the bottom and curved on the top. The purpose of this design is not for pleasing to the eye, but for the perspective of physics. The first kind of opinion is that the lift happens because the pressure is greater below the wing of the airplane than it is above the wing. As a result of the shape of the wing, when the air passes through the airplane, it has further to travel on the top than on the bottom of the wing. The same amount of air goes