Why do wings help you fly?
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To learn more about the "correct" and "incorrect" explanations of lift, read the NASA web pages on Incorrect Theory #1 and Incorrect Theory #2, but make sure to also look at the correct explanations on Lift from Flow Turning and Lift from Pressure.
You can also read an interesting article about this confusion that appeared in Plane & Pilot magazine (July 2006).
A more thorough discussion is found in the article "How do wings work?," published in the journal Physics Education (Vol. 38, page 497, 2003). You may or may not get access to the PDF depending on your library's subscription.
The article "How Airplanes Fly: A Physical Description of Lift" (Sport Aviation, Feb. 1999, and reproduced in The Aviation History On-line Museum) also offers a complete technical discussion, including the Coanda effect (not mentioned in the article above). The Coanda effect explains why the air follows a curved surface, such as the top of a wing.
What if human flight wasn't just the stuff of epic comic book stories? Is it scientifically possible to fly? Joy Lin tackles the superpower of flight and reveals just how scientifically realistic it can be to us mere mortals.
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