Your Own Flight
Forces of Flight - Lift


As the aircraft moves forward into a stream of air, the wing deflects the air. Some of the air moves to flow above the wing while some of the air moves to flow below the wing.

The wing is curved to help the air that flows above the wing move more quickly than the air that was able to flow below the non-curved bottom of the wing.

Illustration Illustration

The air that is moving more quickly above the curved wing starts to put less pressure on the wing while it adjusts to its new stream. Meanwhile, the air that is moving at a consistent speed below the wing maintains its rate of pressure. This quick differential produces lift. The higher air pressure pushes the wing upward into the space where the air pressure is lower.

This difference in air pressures is a result of Bernoulli's Principle which states that as the speed of a moving fluid (like air) increases, the pressure within that fluid decreases.

The curve of a wing, therefore, effects how much lift force is generated when an aircraft moves through a stream of air. 



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