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Forces on an aircraft during flight

Posted by air_lifter Monday, December 14, 2009


There are four main types of forces acting on an aircraft during flight. These four type of forces are very important to know for the basic understanding of flight. The four main type of forces acting on an aircraft are namely Lift, Weight, Thrust and Drag as shown in the picture below.
Lift is an upward acting force which counteracts the weight of the aircraft and hence lifts the aircraft above the ground. Lift is produced by the wings which might seem amazing, and actually it is amazing. The profile (shape) of airfoils of wings is made in such a way that it causes pressure difference in the upper and lower part of the wing. This difference in pressure results in the lift.
Similarly, thrust is another type of force which is in the direction of flight and it is responsible for the forward movement. This force is basically the force used to counteract the drag. Thrust is provided in modern aircraft by the engine motors.

Thus the challenge of engineers of today and future is to increase the performance of aircraft. This means that the challenge for engineers is to increase the lift and thrust, whilst decreasing the drag and weight forces.

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