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The New Look of Flying Machines

Most people are familiar with the Standard Configuration,the most common airplane design.However, recent revelations in both military and general aviation have shown at least a slight movement toward different arrangements of an airplane’s lift and control surfaces.These variations in aircraft structure include the canard configuration and the flying wing.
First, we must understand the basic principles of flight before any different configurations of lift surfaces can be discussed.In order for any object to gain lift, it must have a force pushing it upwards which is greater than its weight.This force, called lift, results from the differing pressures on the upper and lower surfaces of the wing.The air that hits the leading edge of the wing separates.Part goes over the wing, and part travels underneath it. The top of the wing curves, or is cambered, causing the air passing over the top of the wing to go faster than the air passing under the wing.The lower surface of the wing is relatively flat, so air travels at, or near, its normal speed.Bernoulli’s Law says that as the speed of gas or fluid increases its pressure decreases (Pappas 2).
Therefore, there is a greater air pressure under the wing than there is above the wing.This greater pressure under the wing pushes the plane up.When this force exceeds the pull of gravity on the aircraft, flight is achieved.
Two other forces affect an aircraft’s movement through the air: thrust and drag.Thrust is the force provided by an aircraft’s power plant which pushes or pulls it forward through the air.Drag, which counteracts thrust, is the force of wind resistance against the aircraft.It is supplemented by various appendages on the aircraft, such as the wings, stabilizers, and the fuselage.The less drag there is on an aircraft, the faster and more economically it can fly.Drag can be reduced by eliminating items which disrupt airflow.

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