How Do Airplanes Fly?

How Do Airplanes Fly?


Airplanes stay in the air because of one simple
fact: there is no net force on them. And with no net force, an object at rest stays at rest,
and an object in motion stays that way – even if it’s in midair 10 km above the earth’s
surface. Now of course it’s not like there aren’t
forces acting on the airplane; gravity pulls down on the plane itself plus all of the people
and baggage inside, and every single air molecule that is shot through the engine or collides
with the fuselage or wings pushes on the plane as well. But if all of these forces are balanced
– in particular, if the air molecules push the plane UP enough to counteract gravity
– then the plane stays up. Getting air molecules to push the plane up
is the crucial part of flying, and planes do this by making sure the undersides of the
wings crash into more air molecules more violently than the upper sides of the wings. When a
plane is parked on the ground, air molecules bounce off of the top and bottom of the wings
in roughly equal amounts, or with “equal pressure.” No lift. But in motion, the curved shape of the wings
and their slightly inclined angle means that the bottoms smash into more air molecules
than before (and smash harder into those molecules), so the pressure on the bottom of the wing
goes up. In addition, fewer air molecules now strike
the top of the wing and those that do strike it less forcefully, partly because it’s
being “shielded” by its own forward motion (the way running into the rain keeps your
back drier) and partly because a curving stream of air has lower pressure on the inside of
the curve since the molecules get thrown centripetally to the outside. But whatever the reasons,
the pressure on the top of the wing goes down. So, low pressure on the top plus high pressure
on the bottom, and the plane has lift. And if the pressure/force imbalance is big enough,
it can lift the plane up into the air against gravity! Now, all this crashing into air molecules
to lift the plane also pushes to slow the plane down – which it would, if not for
engines. Engines also push air (in this case, backwards), either via a propellor, or a jet,
or a jet driving a propellor. For various reasons, it turns out that you want to have
a really big propellor driven by a really small jet for the most efficient engine. But even in inefficient engines, the spinning
fan blades get their horizontal lift, which we call “thrust,” by moving quickly through
air with a curved shape and a slightly inclined angle – they’re essentially mini-wings. And so an airplane is essentially a meta-wing:
it flies by moving mini-wings fast enough to push air molecules backwards, which moves
the plane forward fast enough that its big wings push air molecules down. Whoa. Wingception.

80 comments

  • Teng Vickie

    Bad

    Reply
  • Lina Rawas لينة الرواس -

    this an incredible simple explanation! great job

    Reply
  • Feline Frenzy

    Woah… wingseption!

    Reply
  • Chris Connell

    Way to many complex words for kids and you talk way to fast.

    Reply
  • Myke Prior

    please stay away from aeronautics

    Reply
  • RE H

    PLEASE make another video explains to all the idiots who still believe the old "Bernoulli Effect" nonsense.

    Reply
  • Boone Meadows

    This is wrong. Disappointed that this channel would publish a really common misconception. NASA has addressed this as a common incorrect lift theory.

    https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/airplane/wrong2.html

    Reply
  • Tom M

    Thank you, I've been getting worried hearing a lot of supposed physicists still talking about upward lift caused by the difference in airflow speeds above and below wing.

    Reply
  • Emanuel

    Many bla nla bla but the answer is just the camber

    Reply
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    Reply
  • Subha Aero

    very useful..

    Reply
  • kar oma

    I'm sure someone has already said that… but you're wrong (partially)… although difference in air pressure does create lift, it's NOT the main reason how wings work… and it's not as intuitive as you described

    Reply
  • orange70383

    The low pressure on top doesn't do anything for lift, it's no mystery, take a sheet of plywood and angle the front up then move it in a forward direct, and what do you get you get a surfboard using the air like water.

    Reply
  • Nuzzrio

    Are you from minuteearth??

    Reply
  • Brendan Berney

    So the upward force of pressure on the plane is stronger than the downward force of gravity+low pressure, so there's a net increase which allows it to lift?

    Reply
  • Aakash Patel

    I was thinking about giving an informational speech on this in my speech class….

    i'll look for other topics.

    Reply
  • Benjamin McIntosh

    Lol metawing

    Reply
  • Harish Katewa

    can you make it more harder to understand a simple phenomena ?

    Reply
  • Erin Blake

    Wrong

    Reply
  • Mudkip909

    the thumbnail contains all the forces of a plane, except ground impact force

    Reply
  • Tiffany Ooi xD

    Thank you sooo muchhhh its very useful xD

    Reply
  • Brentopc

    Do a video of the difficulty of flying a plane into space by have two different engines or possibly an engine that can work even if there is air or not

    Reply
  • jonni2

    Really good video!!!!

    Reply
  • krishna blon

    R u father of Issac Newton

    Reply
  • Lewis

    Good video

    Reply
  • Vanessa Ji

    thanks for help on sience project!

    Reply
  • t m

    This video needs to be taken down. You misrepresent air as ping pong balls, and fail to explain that bernoullis principle, while relevant, isn't the sole reason for lift. Lift is more complex, and you have grossly oversimplified it, to where an understanding of lift isn't achievable as a "laymen" explanation. There are three things at play here, conservation of mass, momentum, and energy. If people want to know what is actually going on, watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PF22LM8AbII

    Reply
  • Itscupkake479 Savage

    wow thx it helps a lot !

    Reply
  • Olie Manuel

    Gravity isn't real!!

    Reply
  • Marco Somma

    Hei, can you guys make a video about how a bumblebee flys?

    Reply
  • Michael Hutson

    Thank you for this video so much

    Reply
  • Isaac Brandt SNS

    Hi

    Reply
  • Rana Kaaki

    I’m 29 years old and a Biology teacher and I today I learned how planes fly 😄

    Reply
  • piyush mehra

    Explained well. It helped. Thanks.

    Reply
  • BossManCrackNibba

    Guys it’s me Cheran

    Reply
  • Mr KKC

    Use plane to make engines

    Reply
  • Antonman

    Great video

    Reply
  • Folk Metal m/

    Oh look kilometers… I'm back in the normal world

    Reply
  • marlb0r015

    Planes are steelbirds, everybody is wrong with calling them planes, because what is a plane? Steel bird makes more sense.

    Reply
  • Keme Dora

    I was absent on Physics subject

    Reply
  • Isaac Turner

    Yeah but how do they stay up

    Reply
  • Grace Vander Griend

    wow

    Reply
  • Kashif Khan

    Nice

    Reply
  • Yoga Anugrah

    Please teks Indonesia

    Reply
  • Humza Khan

    u made a great video :0 but i am still confused 😛

    Reply
  • Ty Lewis

    good for you people idk this

    Reply
  • Captain Khan

    Fantastic explanation great video thanks for sharing…!!

    Reply
  • Ashutosh Bhakuni

    As per NASA, the explanation of lift in this video is largely wrong and is labelled by them as Skipping Stone Theory. The curved air flow, which is the major contributor of lift, is largely undermined/ignored in the video. https://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/wrong2.html
    And this link also calls the explanation wrong by giving bulet analogy: http://www.av8n.com/how/htm/airfoils.html#sec-fluid

    Sixty Symbols has a nice and more correct explanation of lift based on what is given here: https://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/bernnew.html

    Reply
  • cheerios4canaries

    This is such a perfect summary love it! Praise Jesus for aerospace engineers and physicists.

    Reply
  • Shika

    Thanks a lot for translations to Arabic.

    Reply
  • Bunga Raya

    whatever .. i still feel scared each time flying.. how abt the pilot forget to push 1 button, how abt if the pilot forget to open all tyres during landing. how abt both pilots sleep…

    Reply
  • Carnage Venom

    1:26 '' But whatever the reasons'' wtf bro

    Reply
  • TheyAdoreJayda

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rMgp

    Reply
  • Ornithocowian King

    #wingception

    Reply
  • Dereje Biru

    Thanx..that was fast but nice. Now I will build me an airplane just like you said..

    Reply
  • Arif Riaz

    It's means airbus man fuel is air with out air aeroplane is can't flying. Basik element is injean fan must be keep in good condition it's big gravity

    Reply
  • Todd Pevehouse

    minute physics is realy neat

    Reply
  • MAXAMED SHAKAAL

    What I know is That These white people saw a bird flying and they mada a giant metallic bird like structure to make it fly Where are my fellow black Africans Hit the Like😒

    Reply
  • Goh Zyik Xyun

    I feel sorry for those 512 dislikes. Couldn't understand the video

    Reply
  • Scriptminer

    Brilliant!! Exactly the explanation I needed!!!

    Reply
  • Pete Mitchell

    I'm just curious what's the scale of that model Airbus? It's got to be like close to like 1 and 600 scale. Especially if it's 6 inches or under, because that Airbus looks like it's close to three hundred feet long, or is it more like 240 to 250 ft long, in that case it would be like 1/480 scale, or 1 and 500 scale.

    Reply
  • Lasagna Eliminator

    Sponsored by an airline BUILDING company. Good job1

    Reply
  • Omansh Sharma

    Busted the myth

    Reply
  • Ata Prodouction

    I like the explanation

    Reply
  • Mohamad Hamdan Laham

    yes science is boring

    Reply
  • Jaclyn Kealy

    Wing-seption🤣

    Reply
  • Faraaz Mohammed

    you explained it too good…Awesome..Thanks

    Reply
  • jel

    It’s still so wild to me how humans were able to invent planes

    Reply
  • ɛʟɨʐǟɮɛȶɦ օʟֆɛռ

    Wingception

    Reply
  • Guadalupe Hernandez

    Great video

    Reply
  • Fireball XL5

    It's a shame that everything has to be so dumbed down?! Please people, learn some basic physics!!!

    Reply
  • Argo Van

    Don’t forget about Centre of Gravity of aircraft which is in front of centre of pressure thus lift create a moment about CG which must be opposed by other moment to stay in equilibrium and this force is on tail which act downwards so total lift is higher than weight. Of course there are some aircraft which CG is aft of CP

    Reply
  • Arthur Weasley

    Thank you

    Reply
  • rojan rizo

    This is the explanation i only need….

    Reply
  • Luiz Fellipe

    The brazilian translator didint translate part of the vidio please low his(hrers) salary

    Reply
  • Faisal Ma

    Explain more Newton’s laws please or explore khan academy.

    Reply
  • laura josef

    THAAAAANNNKK U SAVE LIVES BABEEEEE TNXXXXXXXXXX

    Reply
  • Cara Beara

    Dude I’m so stoned and I’m like….. what

    Reply
  • Wayne Morgan

    Gravity=weight=gravity

    Reply
  • Aedyn Neudecker

    Fuck.

    Reply
  • Pratham Singh

    Um who wants to become a pilot . Like if u do

    Reply

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