Since the discovery of planes, there have been several studies on the working of the aircraft. The studies have revealed a very fantastic fact about how these planes work. Let begin with the necessary information that everyone should know. That is, there are different types of aircraft. Their difference can be seen just by a look. There are airplanes which their working principle is almost similar to the working of the jet engine. Also, there are helicopters that also fly, but they’re working is not the same as that of the airplanes. In this article, we are going to look precisely how the aircraft works.
For one to understand the working of the airplanes, there is one principle and also one law that one should understand first. The law and the principles are the Newtonian third law and the Bernoulli’s principle, respectively. The above mention law and principle are the best for explaining why airplanes, jet engines, helicopters, and other related machines such as drones fly.
Let start by mentioning the Newtonian third law and Bernoulli’s principle to understand more about the working of the airplanes.
- Newtonian third law of motion.
This law was named after a scholar known as Isaac Newton. It states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This law sounds good because it just explains that when there is an interaction, different forces are interacting in the opposite direction.
- Bernoulli’s principle
This principle states that whenever there is an increase in the velocity of a fluid or a gas, there leads to a corresponding decrease in the pressure created. That is also among the very basic things one should understand to understand the operation of the airplane.
Therefore, for an airplane to fly, four forces act on it, and it is very vital to understand the four forces before looking at the airplane operation. The four forces that act on the airplane are :
Upward force (lift) • Thrust force
- Lift force.
This force is very vital in an airplane. That is the forces that enable the plane to take off from the ground. The wings of the aircraft entirely create the lift force. For a case of the helicopter, the lift force is created by the propeller that is connected to the main rotor/engine. It is essential to know that the plane contains the main rotor that is connected to the propeller that is fixed above the helicopter and also has a tail rotor. The two rotors play a very vital role in the plane.
How do the wings or the propeller create the lift force?
Bernoulli’s principle and Newton’s third law of motion will be very imperative here in explaining this phenomenon.
The streamlined shape of the airfoil, which is used to manufacture the wings of the aircraft is fundamental here. According to Bernoulli’s principle, which states that with an increase in the velocity of a fluid, there leads to a decrease in pressure created. This principle is the one that explains how the wings generate lift. When the wings in an airplane are set in a way that the angle of attack is significant, there will be a high production of the lift force. That is because, when the airstrikes the wing of the airplane, some air will flow beneath the wing while the rest will move above the wing. Remember the airfoil is made in a way that the distance above it is bigger than the length beneath. Therefore since the air that is traveling above the wing and below the wing must meet, the air above the wing tends to move faster than the air that is below the wing. Basing our argument on Bernoulli’s principle, the velocity of the air above the wing will be higher than the velocity of the air below the wing, and hence there will be lower pressure above the wing as compared to the pressure below. The difference in pressure will create the life force that will make the plane to start taking off. Some conditions to be met here are the airplane should be set in motion to facilitate this phenomenon. That is why you will find most of the airplanes apart from the helicopters runs through a runway before they take off.
How does the helicopter propeller create lift force?
The difference between the helicopter and the airplane is that the helicopter remains in a stationary position when creating the lift force while the plane must run in a runway. The principle is the same. The rotating propellers generate the lift force, the higher the speed of the propeller, the less the pressure created above the helicopter. When the pressure below the plane becomes more than the pressure above, the pressure below pushes the aircraft upwards.
- The thrust force.
In the airplane, the thrust force helps the aircraft to move forward. In the same case to the helicopter, the thrust force enables the aircraft to move forward.
How is the thrust force created?
Hence when the engine is working, it produces the thrust force that enables the airplane to move forward.
- Drag force.
The drag force in airplane results from the air resistance .the air resistance tries to hinder the helicopter or the airplane from moving forward. That is why all the plans have a very narrow front end to minimize the air resistance because the area is small. Therefore to overcome this force, the airplane must produce enough thrust to balance the trust so that the aircraft can move through the air.
- Weight force.
This force is created by the sum masses of the materials that are used to make the airplane, masses of the passenger or the people that the plane is carrying, the masses of the cargo and any other object in the airplane multiplied by the value gravity. This force pushes the aircraft towards the ground.
Knowing the effect of the above four forces will help you to understand how the airplane works quickly. Some conditions should be met so that the airplane of the helicopter can take off from the ground. some of the conditions include:
- The aircraft should run in the runway to help the airfoil shape of the wings to create the lift.
For the helicopter, the propeller should be set at a very high speed.
- The lift force should be greater than the weight force.
- The thrust force should be higher than the drag.
Having learned about the causes of the thrust force, drag, lift, and weight, it is now essential to look at how one controls the movement of the plane.
How to control the airplane?
Having learned the four forces that act on a plane, to control the aircraft requires one to play around with the four forces.
There are three types of movements in an airplane. That is the roll, yaw, and pitch.
How to control the roll?
Roll refers to the plane control around the front to back axis. That is achieved through the use of the aileron.
How to control the yaw movement?
Yaw movement refers to the rotation around the vertical axis of the plane. The use of the rudder achieves this movement.
How to achieve pitch movement?
That is the airplane movement, which involves side to side axis and is achieved by the use of elevators to control.
For the case of the helicopter, the propellers are set in a way that the pilot can be able to adjust the angle of attack and hence also facilitating the control of the plane.