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  • FIRST POST
    • Former MSE Helen
    • By Former MSE Helen 31st Oct 11, 4:37 PM
    • 2,324Posts
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    Former MSE Helen
    'I don't believe planes can fly' blog discussion
    • #1
    • 31st Oct 11, 4:37 PM
    'I don't believe planes can fly' blog discussion 31st Oct 11 at 4:37 PM
    This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.





    Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.
Page 1
    • Mandelbrot
    • By Mandelbrot 31st Oct 11, 6:08 PM
    • 8,633 Posts
    • 18,640 Thanks
    Mandelbrot
    • #2
    • 31st Oct 11, 6:08 PM
    • #2
    • 31st Oct 11, 6:08 PM
    Hmmm ... that bolt through the neck seems to have done some damage to Martin's central nervous system.
    Either that, or sanding his forehead flat before applying the green paint.
    • Reaper
    • By Reaper 31st Oct 11, 6:31 PM
    • 6,522 Posts
    • 4,880 Thanks
    Reaper
    • #3
    • 31st Oct 11, 6:31 PM
    • #3
    • 31st Oct 11, 6:31 PM
    Lol. Most people think the plane stays in the air because of the airflow hitting the underside of the wing. If this were all it had it would indeed fail to fly and you would be right to be worried.

    In reality that accounts for only about 20% of the lift. The remaining 80% comes from low pressure ABOVE the wing sucking it upwards.

    It's a bit hard to explain why but I will try. The curved surface above the wing means the airflow has to travel faster over the top than it does underneath. That leads to a drop in air pressure which sucks it up.

    You can try this for youself. Get 2 sheets of paper and hold them close together then blow in between them. You might think they would seperate more but they don't - they get closer together. The fast moving air between them is at a lower pressure than the still air outside so it pulls them together.

    That is how a wing holds a heavy plane up, as long as it keeps moving and keeps that airflow passing over the wing.
    • DdraigGoch
    • By DdraigGoch 31st Oct 11, 7:04 PM
    • 715 Posts
    • 3,996 Thanks
    DdraigGoch
    • #4
    • 31st Oct 11, 7:04 PM
    • #4
    • 31st Oct 11, 7:04 PM
    I have my doubts about planes too! Every now and then I expect to see a huge chubby hand emerge from a cloud, holding a string to the front of the plane LOLs

    Yes, I know how it works but it just doesn't FEEL right!
    If you see me on here - shout at me to get off and go and get something useful done!!
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 31st Oct 11, 7:07 PM
    • 8,115 Posts
    • 42,285 Thanks
    MSE Martin
    • #5
    • 31st Oct 11, 7:07 PM
    • #5
    • 31st Oct 11, 7:07 PM
    Lol. Most people think the plane stays in the air because of the airflow hitting the underside of the wing. If this were all it had it would indeed fail to fly and you would be right to be worried.

    In reality that accounts for only about 20% of the lift. The remaining 80% comes from low pressure ABOVE the wing sucking it upwards.

    It's a bit hard to explain why but I will try. The curved surface above the wing means the airflow has to travel faster over the top than it does underneath. That leads to a drop in air pressure which sucks it up.

    You can try this for youself. Get 2 sheets of paper and hold them close together then blow in between them. You might think they would seperate more but they don't - they get closer together. The fast moving air between them is at a lower pressure than the still air outside so it pulls them together.

    That is how a wing holds a heavy plane up, as long as it keeps moving and keeps that airflow passing over the wing.
    Originally posted by Reaper

    Yeah right! Pah you're just part of the conspiracy
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
    • Reaper
    • By Reaper 31st Oct 11, 7:33 PM
    • 6,522 Posts
    • 4,880 Thanks
    Reaper
    • #6
    • 31st Oct 11, 7:33 PM
    • #6
    • 31st Oct 11, 7:33 PM
    Yeah right! Pah you're just part of the conspiracy
    Originally posted by MSE Martin
    I am but I can be very convincing . For an encore I plan to convince you black is white, the moon is made of cheese, and the EU rescue package has solved the problem.

    Actually I may struggle a bit with that last one.
  • 2sides2everystory
    • #7
    • 1st Nov 11, 12:10 AM
    • #7
    • 1st Nov 11, 12:10 AM
    Lol. Most people think the plane stays in the air because of the airflow hitting the underside of the wing. If this were all it had it would indeed fail to fly and you would be right to be worried.

    In reality that accounts for only about 20% of the lift. The remaining 80% comes from low pressure ABOVE the wing sucking it upwards.

    It's a bit hard to explain why but I will try. The curved surface above the wing means the airflow has to travel faster over the top than it does underneath. That leads to a drop in air pressure which sucks it up.

    You can try this for youself. Get 2 sheets of paper and hold them close together then blow in between them. You might think they would seperate more but they don't - they get closer together. The fast moving air between them is at a lower pressure than the still air outside so it pulls them together.

    That is how a wing holds a heavy plane up, as long as it keeps moving and keeps that airflow passing over the wing.
    Originally posted by Reaper
    Reaper, were you taught the "equal transit time" idea (of air over and under the wing) to explain why the air over the top 'has to travel faster'? I was. Then I bumped into an Aeronautics lecturer on a university open day recently. He posed the question so what about wings that are pretty much as flat on top as they are underneath ? And he also showed us how a cylindrical wing could fly if it was rotating, and sacre bleue he even poo-poo-ed the idea that a body of air split by the passing of the wing met up again at the trailing edge ...

    There is something called "circulation" which makes the explanation of lift a tad more difficult to take onboard than it has been for most pilots for most of the past 100 years - I have no doubt that wrestling with these lesser known circulatory aspects of lift generation around an airplane wing really would have been good enough to distract Martin from the pain of the Great South Run
    Last edited by 2sides2everystory; 01-11-2011 at 12:16 AM.
    • Percy1983
    • By Percy1983 1st Nov 11, 12:13 PM
    • 4,990 Posts
    • 7,824 Thanks
    Percy1983
    • #8
    • 1st Nov 11, 12:13 PM
    • #8
    • 1st Nov 11, 12:13 PM
    Don't forget those remote control planes you see flying about sometimes, you think they are massive and very high, its all just an illusion!
    Have my first business premises (+4th business) 01/11/2017
    Quit day job to run 3 businesses 08/02/2017
    Started third business 25/06/2016
    Son born 13/09/2015
    Started a second business 03/08/2013
    Officially the owner of my own business since 13/01/2012
    • Reaper
    • By Reaper 1st Nov 11, 1:12 PM
    • 6,522 Posts
    • 4,880 Thanks
    Reaper
    • #9
    • 1st Nov 11, 1:12 PM
    • #9
    • 1st Nov 11, 1:12 PM
    Reaper, were you taught the "equal transit time" idea (of air over and under the wing) to explain why the air over the top 'has to travel faster'? I was. Then I bumped into an Aeronautics lecturer on a university open day recently. He posed the question so what about wings that are pretty much as flat on top as they are underneath ? And he also showed us how a cylindrical wing could fly if it was rotating, and sacre bleue he even poo-poo-ed the idea that a body of air split by the passing of the wing met up again at the trailing edge ...

    There is something called "circulation" which makes the explanation of lift a tad more difficult to take onboard than it has been for most pilots for most of the past 100 years - I have no doubt that wrestling with these lesser known circulatory aspects of lift generation around an airplane wing really would have been good enough to distract Martin from the pain of the Great South Run
    Originally posted by 2sides2everystory
    I was indeed taught "equal transit time" and how it was responsible for the drop in pressure. I can see I will have to go back to the drawing board and swot up on circulation before my next flight before I too stop believing a plane can fly.
  • taxedtodeathbylabour
    I can't believe Government cut backs?
    Well lets see, we could start by employing member of parliment support officers. They could do the job for a third of the price. They would not have any real powers to make decisions, just to be there in HI VIS suits so that are visible.
    Then we could reduce the number of MP's by 20%, roughly by 130 or so. MP's would have to have a licence to work an MP. This would be issued by a governing body and would have to be paid each year by the MP's themselves, say 1000 per year to practice.
    When MP's stand down especially after lost election we should remove there thank you and goodbye payment. Expenses will only be paid with a receipt and must be proportionate and justifiable, e.g. first class plane ticket is not proportionate when using tax payers money.
    As an MP you must work until you 95; and pay 46% of your wage towards your statue in the house of commons if your the PM.
    • ukmonkey
    • By ukmonkey 2nd Nov 11, 1:11 PM
    • 3,004 Posts
    • 2,347 Thanks
    ukmonkey
    Totally agree about the Aeroplane thing.

    I think about things like this each and every day...

    Flicking a switch and the light comes on - amazing!
    Telephones - amazing!
    The Internet - amazing!

    I could go on, and suffice to say that I understand the technology behind all of the above, but still find it utterly amazing.

    EDIT: Human reproduction (or any reproduction for that matter). How can one tiny tiny egg and one teeny tiny sperm make a baby - it just doesn't seem possible...but it is!
  • 2sides2everystory
    Well lets see, we could start by employing member of parliment support officers. They could do the job for a third of the price. They would not have any real powers to make decisions, just to be there in HI VIS suits so that are visible.
    Then we could reduce the number of MP's by 20%, roughly by 130 or so. MP's would have to have a licence to work an MP. This would be issued by a governing body and would have to be paid each year by the MP's themselves, say 1000 per year to practice.
    When MP's stand down especially after lost election we should remove there thank you and goodbye payment. Expenses will only be paid with a receipt and must be proportionate and justifiable, e.g. first class plane ticket is not proportionate when using tax payers money.
    As an MP you must work until you 95; and pay 46% of your wage towards your statue in the house of commons if your the PM.
    Originally posted by taxedtodeathbylabour
    Sadly that one won't fly, TTDBL
  • eeeeeee
    neither do i
    you cant beat a descent old spot too get you too tenerife for your winter hols
    NSD = 3/31 spent = 97.88/31 groceries = 26/31 fuel =2/31
    various debts = /14366.89secured loan = /13887.21 full settlement figuremortgage = /64,342.45
    ime not debt free ,but ime trying JANUARY BIG FINANCIAL FREEZE (JBFF)no35
    proud owner of a british bullog puppies due end of jan2013
    • John_Pierpoint
    • By John_Pierpoint 3rd Nov 11, 12:48 AM
    • 8,248 Posts
    • 7,388 Thanks
    John_Pierpoint
    Lol. Most people think the plane stays in the air because of the airflow hitting the underside of the wing. If this were all it had it would indeed fail to fly and you would be right to be worried.

    In reality that accounts for only about 20% of the lift. The remaining 80% comes from low pressure ABOVE the wing sucking it upwards.

    It's a bit hard to explain why but I will try. The curved surface above the wing means the airflow has to travel faster over the top than it does underneath. That leads to a drop in air pressure which sucks it up.

    You can try this for yourself. Get 2 sheets of paper and hold them close together then blow in between them. You might think they would separate more but they don't - they get closer together. The fast moving air between them is at a lower pressure than the still air outside so it pulls them together.

    That is how a wing holds a heavy plane up, as long as it keeps moving and keeps that airflow passing over the wing.
    Originally posted by Reaper
    It is also the reason why I find light weight shower curtains an abomination.
    As the water droplets drop through the air, they make a breeze, the moving air is at a lower pressure. So the nasty wet clammy shower curtains are pulled against your legs.

    It was the Elizabethan "Martins" who thought the answer to a smoking fire place was to make the fire place and chimney even bigger to catch the smoke; when in reality (as long as it was kept swept) a smaller chimney would make the chimney speed up the column of smoke and thus "suck" better.

    Don't school open days still include an exhibit from the science department any more; Putting an airflow through a venturi (a restriction shaped a bit like a power station's cooling tower) means a manometer measuring the pressure in the wide part of the pipe and the restricted part of the pipe, demonstrates that the fast moving flow in the restricted part is at a lower pressure.
    I find this counter-intuitive, one would have thought the bottleneck would be bursting to push out the walls of the tube, not sucking to pull them in.

    Half way down the page offered by this link, there is an illustration of such a venturi demonstration.

    http://www.flowmeterdirectory.com/flowmeasurement.html
    Last edited by John_Pierpoint; 03-11-2011 at 12:50 AM.
    • Reaper
    • By Reaper 3rd Nov 11, 8:13 AM
    • 6,522 Posts
    • 4,880 Thanks
    Reaper
    It is also the reason why I find light weight shower curtains an abomination.
    As the water droplets drop through the air, they make a breeze, the moving air is at a lower pressure. So the nasty wet clammy shower curtains are pulled against your legs.
    Originally posted by John_Pierpoint
    I suspect this has another simpler explanation. The air inside the shower cubicle is heated by the hot water passing through it. The heated air attempts to rise and cold air from outside attempts to move in below it from outside. If the curtain is light this pressure is enough to make it move inwards.
    • John_Pierpoint
    • By John_Pierpoint 3rd Nov 11, 9:15 AM
    • 8,248 Posts
    • 7,388 Thanks
    John_Pierpoint
    I agree it is hotter, but that would make it expand. I am absolutely certain the air is moving downwards not upwards - check the "steam".
  • 2sides2everystory
    Do you think it's "circulation" again John ? ... or at least as Reaper implies, some kind of active convection, as in some highly localised thunderstorm type weather system perhaps

    Clammy legs or not, I wouldn't recommend raising the undercarriage in this one ...
    Last edited by 2sides2everystory; 03-11-2011 at 12:01 PM.
  • tabbytabby
    Lol I think its the big turbines attached the wings that helps the plane move forward and 'fly'. Unlike the birds and the bees that flapped their wings to go into the sunset.
    Last edited by tabbytabby; 03-11-2011 at 1:55 PM.
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