Four Forces of Flight x 2

There are four forces that help an airplane fly. They are lift, thrust, drag, and gravity (weight). Think of a Frisbee flying through the air. The air gives it lift and holds it up.  Throwing it with your arm, gives it thrust.  Drag from the air makes it slow down. The gravity (weight) of the Frisbee brings it back to Earth again.
- Gravity or weight is a pulling force that draws the plane towards the earths center.
-A planes weight constantly changes during flight, as the fuel is used.
-To keep the plane balanced, the pilot is constantly adjusting the controls.
-In flight the plane rotates about the center of gravity.
-The center of gravity of an aircraft is the point where the aircraft would balance.
-Lift is generated by the motion of the plane through the air
-Lift is generated by all parts of the plane but mostly by the wings.
-Lift is the push that lets the plane move up.
-Lift is the force that opposes the weight and holds the plane in the air.
-A plane must have more lift than weight for it to move forward.
-Drag is directed along and opposed to the flight direction.
-An objects shape also changes the amount of drag. The more air that hits the surface, the more drag it produces.
-Drag is important to slow a plane down.
-Drag is like having your hand out of a window in a moving car. The air that is pushing your     hand back is drag.
-Drag is caused by movement of the plane through the air. It is also known as air resistance.
-The direction of the thrust force depends on how the engines are attached to the aircraft.
-Thrust is  the force that is the opposite of drag.
-Thrust is the push that moves the plane forward through the air. It must have more thrust than drag.
-The A320 and A350 get their thrust from jet engines.
-After touchdown on the runway, reverse thrust is used to slow down the plane.

Gravity, Thrust, Drag and Lift are 4 necessary forces required for a plane to perform. Without them, flying would be impossible. All of the forces work together to create take-offs, flight, and landings.

GRAVITY (weight)  provides stability to the aircraft, pulling the plane down toward the center of the Earth. It is a vital component; dictating control and movement. The center of gravity is a critical force when designing and loading an airplane. The pilot is responsible for calculating the weight and balance of an aircraft before flying, ensuring the payload (baggage, passengers, fuel, etc.), remains within its maximum weight and center of gravity limitations. A center of gravity too far forward or too far back can cause problems for the pilot, and either condition can be dangerous.

THRUST  is the force which propels an aircraft  through the air. It's the energy applied by the plane's engine to pull a plane forward, to accelerate, gain altitude, and sometimes to maneuver. Increasing the pressure of the engine produces thrust. Increased pressure exerts forward force. The plane moves forward as air pulls inward due to an opposite reaction.

DRAG  is the force that pushes against an object as it maneuvers through the air, causing it to slow. The amount of drag is dependent on the size and shape of the object. The medium through which it is moving also contributes to drag resistance; it is easier to move through the air than water. In order for thrust to move an object forward, it must exceed the dragging force. The power of an airplane's engine produces enough thrust to overpower the drag, move forward  and allow the wings to generate lift and maintain flight. Thrust counteracts drag.

LIFT is the momentum that  neutralizes the weight of an airplane and keeps it airborne. It works on the balances of air pressure. Most of the lift is generated by the wings. It is a  mechanical aerodynamic force made by the motion of the plane travelling through the air. Lift penetrates the center of pressure of the object and is directed perpendicular to the flow direction. Control of a plane requires not only lift but also vertical and horizontal steering and stabilizing equipment.
In takeoffs the higher the Thrust, the greater the Lift. The pilot powers up the engines, producing Thrust. The plane keeps getting faster (opposing the Drag) until the Lift exceeds the force of Gravity. And the airplane flies.

In landing, the pilot throttles back the engine, decreasing the Thrust, which causes lower Lift, and Gravity pulls the airplane down.  You keep all these forces in balance until the wheels are on the ground. The pilot cuts the engines and the Thrust, and allows Drag and Gravity to take over.


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