Forces of Flight - Thrust
An aircraft can use propellers to make it go forwards. It speeds up along the runway. When it is going fast enough, it takes off.
How does a propeller make the aircraft move forward?
The engine turns the propeller.
The propeller is specially shaped to push the air backwards. This results in a reaction force on the propeller that moves the aircraft forwards.
(Swimmers move forwards through the water in a similar way, by pushing water backwards).
The force moving the aircraft forwards is called the thrust.
How does a helicopter move forwards?
|The helicopter's blades are like a propeller. They tilt forwards so
that the blades push the air backwards.
A jet aircraft can go faster than a propeller aircraft. Where does its thrust come from?
A jet engine burns fuel, like a piston engine. Hot exhaust gases are forced backwards at great speed.
Pushing gases backwards makes the plane go forwards.
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