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Need a lift?

airscape Magazine


If you ever want to convince someone that flying is magical, just remind them that scientists still can’t explain exactly how a wing produces lift.  

Bernoulli and Newton Men of energy: Daniel Bernoulli (1700–1782) and Sir Isaac Newton (1643–1727).

Theories abound. For a long time it was all thanks to Daniel Bernoulli and the idea that an airfoil accelerates the airflow, which means it must lose pressure perpendicular to the wings, thereby sucking you, your airplane and your credit cards into the sky.

But the idea of operating some kind of half-open venturi is simply nonsensical. It takes more than one sucker for that explanation to work.

The force of logic

Enter Newton’s Third Law – that is, ‘for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’. Or to bring it into context, as hard as your wing shoves the air downwards, the air will respond by shoving your wing back up. Perfect.


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