I was reading this blog - the thing about the spoons. I remember Keith telling us about it on the groundcourse, and Enrico going to the bathroom to try it out. And I vaguely remembered having heard of it before.

A day or so after posting the blog, Keith gave the answer to what caused it - Bernoulli's principle. Again, I thought it sounded familiar but I didn't really know anything about it. So I looked it up.


About two minutes into reading the wikipedia article, I was cursing physics, Keith, the Internet and my own brain, because it was utterly baffling! But then I got to the section 'Misunderstandings about the generation of lift.' What's this? Bernoulli's principle doesn't explain the lift generated by aircraft wings? After a bit more reading, I think it does basically explain it, but there are other factors in there as well. And this section sent me over to the article on 'Lift.'


I read this, "While the common meaning of the word "lift" assumes that lift opposes gravity, lift in its technical sense can be in any direction since it is defined with respect to the direction of flow rather than to the direction of gravity. When an aircraft is flying straight and level (cruise) most of the lift opposes gravity.However, when an aircraft is climbing, descending, or banking in a turn the lift is tilted with respect to the vertical."


And I think an actual lightbulb appeared over my head. That was the answer I was after when I was asking about the plane banking (somewhen back in May) and now that I've read it, it seems so blindingly obvious! How did I ever have the idea that lift somehow stopped working because the aeroplane was slightly on its side?


So as frustrated as I was when I started reading, it was totally worth it!

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Comment by Captain Keith on September 15, 2012 at 11:16pm

good news indeed

when the plane turns  the lifting  force is used to support the plane and turn it. So the total lifting force , if you look at the plane head on, when the plane is banked  moves away from the vertical and the sideways component turns the plane.

The wing has to generate more lift in a turn so we raise the nose very very slightly  this causes the speed to reduce very very slightly...but these things would not be noticed by the passengers.

Keith

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