How does an airplane stay up in the air?

               The invention of airplane is one of the greatest events in the history of mankind. The flying of such a heavy object makes people wonder about its functional mechanism. When a plane is flying there are four different forces acting on it simultaneously in different directions – upward, backward and forward. The four different forces acting on it are: i) Weight, ii) Lift, iii) thrust, iv) drag. The weight is the force of gravity that pulls the plane downwards and it is counter-balanced by lift which is the force on the inclined wings that pushes it upwards. The friction of the air over the wing surface causes the drag which acts against the thrust produced by the propellers at the front or by reaction to the jet at the rear. Despite these forces which pull up and down, forward and backward, the plane remains steady in flight because each force is counter-balanced by an equal and opposite force and all together enable the plane to stay up in the air.

               An airplane has three main parts: the body, wings and the tail assembly. Its body contains the pilot cockpit and the passenger compartment, and is called the fuselage. The vertical part of the tail assembly is called the rudder. Another part of the tail assembly is the fin. All these movable parts are controlled by the pilot from the control center of the plane.

               The air passes over the top surface faster than the air beneath the wings. Accordingly, suction is produced and lifts the wing. The tail assembly keeps the plane steady. The pilot can swing the rudder to the right or to the left. When it swings to the right, the front of the plane moves to the right and when to the left; the front of the plane moves to the left. The fin keeps the plane steady in forward flight. The stabilizer keeps the airplane from wobbling up and down in the air. The tail parts called elevators that are connected to the stabilizer, help the plane go up and down when the plane takes off and lands.