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

Date:         31 Mar 2001 16:43:21 
From:         cp@panix.com
Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and UNIX, NYC
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BBarksdl <bbarksdl@aol.com> wrote:
> In the April issue of Discover magazine, Robert Kunzig challanges the textbook
> explanation of the principles of flight.

Personally I found the article less explicit (and more confusing) than
this. It seemed to suggest that the mass of an aircraft must be supported
by displacing an equal mass of air downward (at least, if the aircraft is
gliding without engine power). But the article did acknowledge that a
classic airfoil section does result in lower density air above the wing;
and therefore I conclude from this that it's another way of saying that
air mass has been displaced downward.

The article was more explicit in renouncing the idea that lower density
air pulls the aircraft upward. Fair enough; a vacuum, or partial vacuum,
doesn't pull anything anywhere unless there is a higher density pushing on
the opposite side.