Flight of vehicles and birds - Explained

Birds plane collision

 

Flying means moving through the air. To fly, you have to be lifted by air. To be lifted by air, the air must have more force than your weight. So, you must have something to accelerate the air to make it forceful. This is why birds have wings. When they flap the wings, they accelerate the surrounding air, get lifted and fly.

 

The working of wings of a bird

The shape of the wings is called an air foil. This shape is curved in such a way that it is hollow at the bottom. The hollow bottom accommodates more air than the curved top. So the force of air at the bottom is higher than the force of the air above the wings. When the bird continuously flaps the wings it accelerates the surrounding air just like a fan. As a result, the bird moves through the air.

Wing diagram
Source

 

At higher elevations, the air is naturally forceful, so the bird doesn’t have to flap its wings to over in the air but just have to keep its wins in the right angle.

 

But how do birds move forward?

The flaps of the wings of the bird might look like an up and down reciprocation but it is actually a rotary motion. They do it to push behind the wind in front of them in order to move forward. The more wind they push behind, the more forward they go.

Bird flying
Source

 

The birds use their tail to run. The tail is like a steering. Once they turn their tail, their body takes a U-turn.

 

How does an Airplane fly?

The airplane also works using the same principle of the bird’s wings. After all, every scientific invention is inspired by nature. The shape of the wings of an airplane mimics the wings of a bird by taking the air foil shape. This shape that is broad in the middle and narrow at the ends help the birds and airplane float in the air.

 

Airplane
Source

 

But Airplane cannot flap its wing! How does it fly?

This is where the propellers come into play. Propellers are employed at the wings. They have a set of huge turbines and compressors that suck the air in front of the plane, heat them and push them out with a high velocity. This action creates an opposite reaction that pushes the plane forward in the air.

Flying

 

Why does the plane run before it flies?

It takes some time for the air to build enough velocity to lift a plane which is why the plane runs in the runway using its wheels with the high speed. As it runs, the force of air builds up under the air craft and lifts it up.

Plane

 

Recap

So now you are pretty clear about how an airplane flies. Still, let us have a small recap before we know how a helicopter works: Flying = Lift + Forward motion.

  • Lift is gained by the shape of the pane and the air force that builds up while running fast on the runway.

  • Forward motion is gained by pushing the air using the propellers.

 

The helicopter has no wings! How does it fly?

Helicopters have two sets of rotating blades, one at the top (the vertical one) and the other one at the tail (a small horizontal one). They rotate like a fan with a high speed to accelerate the air molecules around the copter powerful enough to lift it. The vertical fan helps the helicopter move forward.

Tail Rotor

 

So, Flying= Lift + Forward motion

  • Lift- provided by the vertical fan

  • Forward motion- provided by the horizontal fan.

 

Tags: Birds , Flying birds , flying airoplane , wings

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