Physics Behind Flying Airplanes

Topics: Velocity, Mass, Weight Pages: 2 (764 words) Published: August 4, 2010
The Physics behind Flying Airplanes

There are several aspects involved in the dynamics of airplane and how they become airborne. This report will address the main physics involved and mathematic formulae that prove how airplanes get above the ground from a small fighter jet to a massive Boeing 747. The necessities involved in keeping there massive weights in the air and the extreme forces needed to land these airplanes and bring them to a halt will also be explored.

Firstly, the formula F = ma, where F is force, m being mass and a meaning acceleration. This formula is used in the design stage of airplanes but in a different format, a = F/m. This meaning that for the acceleration to be greater F and m needs to be changed, this would result in the airplane reaching its top speed sooner. Designers meet these requirements not by using complex formulas but just use common sense. Increasing the force, most logically would be to increase the size and power of the engines thus increasing the force of the Airplane allowing for the acceleration to be greater. Mass also plays a big part in increasing the airplanes acceleration, the design in airplanes are for them to be light but durable and certain materials have to be used for this. The most common of materials for the airplanes body are aluminium and titanium which weigh 2.7 x 10-3 kg cm3 and 4.5 x 10-3 kg cm3 respectively. These particular materials reduce the mass of the plane and contribute to making the plane become airborne.

For example, let’s say, a plane is accelerating at a speed of 7.1 m s-2 and its total mass is 1.15 x 105 kg, for us to figure out the relative force we need to use this formula, F = ma. So F = (2.26 x 105) x 7.1= 8.17 x 105 N. The previous formula is Newton’s Second Law of motion and is stated as ‘Force equals mass times acceleration’. As you can see there needs to be a great amount of force to get this plane to a decent rate of acceleration but by decreasing the mass and upping the...
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