The Mystery Behind How Planes Fly
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We are so used to seeing airplanes now, we barely recognize what a miracle the power of flight is. We often forget to ask how these giant heavy tubes get off the ground and travel countless miles to their destinations.
Indeed, planes are marvels of engineering. Let's take a look at these marvels up close.
Our journey starts with perhaps the most familiar part of the flight experience: the engine. Today's engines have come a long way from the famous 1903 Flyer's engine designed by the Wright Brothers.
Back then the engine featured a custom-built 12-horsepower gasoline engine that was essentially a powered bike chain that drove twin propellers. Today’s turbojet engines however weigh a monstrous 8,000 pounds (3630 kg) and generate more than 30,000 horsepower. Talk about power!
However, both today's engines and the Wright Brothers' engine essentially achieved the same thing: they provided a force that thrusts airplanes forward. This just the first part of how planes work as engines receive much help from a plane's wings.
In fact, the upward force required to lift the plane into the air is provided by the plane’s wings. How does this force work and what else goes into enabling a plane to fly? Watch our video to find all this out and more.