How Do Airplanes Fly?

Rather than asking students who invented the airplane, it is important that Filipino educators begin explaining to their students what makes an airplane fly? We all know that Orville and Wilbur Wright developed a flying machine that first lifted from the grounds of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and stayed on the air for 12 seconds on December 17, 1903. But it is time for both teachers and students to know how and why that machine flew in the first place.

Instead of using aerodynamics terms to explain the theory of flight, it will be useful to explain it in the simplest way possible. An airplane is able to fly because it applies a force created by a propeller, which is strong enough to make it move forward and uses wings or airfoil to deflect air pressures in such a way that the wind pushes back from underneath the wings to lift the whole airplane.

The propeller creates an aerodynamic force called thrust, which pulls the air past the blades. The movement of the wind around the wing creates a movement called "lift". The plane can fly higher or lower and faster or slower by adjusting the position of the wing to direct air pressures.

The angle of the wing determines how much air pressure it can get from underneath, and how high the airplane can fly. The greater the pressure under the wing, the greater the lift.

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