# Paper Airplanes

Topics: Wing, Fixed-wing aircraft, Aerodynamics Pages: 2 (515 words) Published: May 29, 2006
The idea of flight can best be described as no less than a phenomenon. Throughout history, crude designs and even attempts were put forth to bring human closer to the sun. Eventually this dream was realized in the early twentieth century. In the 1500's Leonardo da Vinci studied birds and their flight in order to design a way to enable humans to fly. In nineteenth century England, Cayley makes the first practical attempts to fly using large glider models of planes. In 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright conduct the first actual flight from the ground using engine power in Kitty Hawk, N. C. These events paved the way (satirically put) for numerous improvements to be made.

Generally speaking and contrary to popular belief, airplanes don't float on the air, they're sucked up into it. This reason is known as Bernoulli's Principle. It says: "...as air travels faster [than surrounding air] across a surface, the air pressure against it is reduced...". By curving the top of an airplane's wing, forming an airfoil, air above it has to travel farther (as the distance is greater) than the air below, forcing the air to move faster. The result is lower pressure on top and more pressure on the bottom. Another name for this is lift. The higher pressure below the wing is just like someone pushing from below the wing; the lower pressure above the wing is like someone pulling it up. Lift can help overcome the forces of gravity would pull the plane to almost certain destruction. If a wing has enough lift upwards, it moves upward, if a wing has lift downwards, it moves downward. Even though most paper airplanes have 'flat' wings, they still cause the air to move the same way. One plane that I built, the "Bernoulli Plane", has a real airfoil resembles the way that real planes and most birds fly. Unlike planes when a bird flaps its wings, air is pushed downward. This produces an opposite force that lifts the bird into the air. Since a bird's wing is in the shape of an airfoil,...