Let's also have some fun with Glide Ratio and other mechanics of flight.
Bernoulli's principle helps explain that an aircraft can achieve lift because of the shape
of its wings. They are shaped so that that air flows faster over the top of the wing and
slower underneath. Fast moving air equals low air pressure while slow moving air equals high
air pressure. Bernoulli’s equation implies that pressure will be lower on the upper surface
of a wing, and this net pressure difference causes lift.
The Glide ratio of an aircraft is the distance of forward travel divided by the altitude
lost in that distance. The glide ratio is affected by all of the four fundamental forces
that act on an aircraft in flight - lift, drag, weight and thrust. If all these factors
remain constant, the glide ratio will not change. A 20 to 1 glide ratio means that an
aircraft would lose one foot of altitude for every twenty feet of distance
In The Cockpit
The engines are running and the plane is flying. Here's the nuts and bolts of how a smaller
plane actually works. Conventional manual hydraulic controls take input from the pilot via a
yoke and command the movement of the flight control actuator via cables and pulleys. This is
a simpler system than fly by wire, but is heavier and lacks the safety features. Fly-by-Wire
(FBW) is the generally accepted term for those flight control systems which use computers to
process the flight control inputs made by the pilot or autopilot, and send corresponding
electrical signals to the flight control surface actuators.
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