OT: but a good question nonetheless


Old 11-10-02, 05:35 AM
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OT: but a good question nonetheless

Big discussion over this one back in my college days.

Most people know that a airplane's wing is designed so the top of the wing has a bigger surface area than the bottom, so that more air is forced over the top surface of the wing hence creating the lower pressure under the wing. Thus creating lift. This has long been the principle to flight.

How then can a plane fly upside down?

(side note we are not talking about jets here)

Talk amoungts yourselves.
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Old 11-10-02, 03:30 PM
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I think you'll find the key is in the angle of attack (AOA). When flying inverted I suspect a more nose up (or down; away from the ground at any rate) is required to maintain straight and level flight. In this configuration you get more pressure built up on the top (down) side of the wing, which would overcome the pressure differential of the wing design.

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Old 11-10-02, 03:50 PM
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Actually, on second reading, your description of the design principal of a wing isn't entirely accurate. It is not the difference in the MASS of the air flowing over and under the wing, but the velocity. Velocity and pressure being inversely proportional, the air forced over the wing does so at an increased velocity & decreased pressure. Same reason, theoretically, for a pitcher to throw a curveball, but don't ask me to explain THAT one, LOL. [Side note: I'm really reaching here; my basic aviation maintenance training was in 1973 and I was an engine mech, not an airframer]

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