Re: How Important Is Cross-section Shape Of Wing?

Date:         04 Apr 2001 16:41:31 
From: (Gord Beaman)
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  or MIME structure (BBarksdl) wrote:

>In the April issue of Discover magazine, Robert Kunzig challanges the textbook
>explanation of the principles of flight. I have always felt the books were
>wrong on this when they say that the shape of the wing invokes Bernoulli's
>Principle to provide the lift required. Kunzig refutes the role of Bernoulli's
>Principle. He says that planes fly by pushing air down, getting lift from the
>equal and opposite reaction that pushes the plane up. I'm trying to reconcile
>that with my own thoughts on the subject - that the forces that cause an
>airplane to fly are essentially the same as those that cause a kite to fly.
>Either way you look at it, the shape of the wing is not the main element.
>Otherwise, how could a plane fly upside-down? As an old barnstormer was
>reported to have said, "Give me enough power, and I'll fly a barn door."

Sure, I agree with that, I think that the wing shape just
augments the forces that actually provide lift, which, as you
say, is the reaction of the wings 'pushing' the airmass down.