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The Basic Principles of Aerodynamics

June 29, 2015 3 Comments

So you have a POWERUP 3.0and you fly it around and fancy yourself a pilot. Cool, But ever wonder why paper planes actually fly? We do, a lot.  It probably consumes about half of our thoughts here at the POWERUP.  But never mind that, we broke down the 4 pillars of aerodynamics, to give a quick and dirty explanation for why things don't just crash after half a second. Paper planes (and all flying things for that matter) fly because of a balance between four external forces: weight, lift, drag and thrust.  












Weight refers to the force of gravity pulling the plane down.
Liftis what you need to counter the plane’s weight.  High pressure under the wing and low pressure above it is what generate a force that pulls up.  
Thrustis the forward momentum needed to travel.  The thrust on planes is generated by an engine and propeller.  The propeller is also a wing and its rotations also generate lift.
And finally, the drag is the part or surface of the plane providing resistance and slowing down the plane.   
And now you know aerodynamics 101, which basically makes you an honorary pilot... way to go!  
Feel free to ask questions in the comments and we’ll have our experienced pilots answer em.

3 Responses

Ben Larson
Ben Larson

October 20, 2016

why is the wingspan important to planes


April 26, 2016

RC flying have always indicated, ideally, that the center of gravity and the lift center should coincide, this is usually close to the wing cord center. I just started trying to make the paper plane flight “reasonably well” with motor off. This takes very strong elevators as plane is very nose heavy. Has anyone tried locating the CG of the powerup 3.0 at the lift center of the paper plane? This should be about 1/3 backwards from where it is. The problem now being that the propeller pusher goes to far backward as the lenght of the rod is fixed. Thanks.


October 16, 2015

i have made my own home made bicopter ,which has frame made up of alluminium.but it is not flying. what precautions i have to take to make it fly?

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