How does a plane stay in the air?

How does a plane stay in the air?

How does plane stay in the air

The Wright Brothers may have invented the airplane in 1903, but there’s still so much we don’t know about how it stays up in the sky. There are four forces that act on an object to keep it in the air: weight, lift, thrust, and drag. The key is for airplanes to stay in balance by balancing these four forces. As you’ll see in this article, there are many ways planes use these forces to stay up.

What are the four forces that act on an object to keep it in the air?

The first force is weight. All objects have weight, which is caused by gravity. The heavier the object, the more gravitational force it has. This force pulls down on objects until they are on the ground.

The second force is lifted. The shape of the airplane wings creates air pressure on the top of the wings. The pressure creates a force that lifts the airplane up into the air.

The third force is thrust. Thrust is created when you have engines that are pushing against the air, which pushes the airplane into the sky.

The fourth force is a drag. Drag is created when parts of the airplane move through the air, like the wheels on the landing gear. Drag slows down airplanes and eventually brings them back down to earth.

How does a plane balance these four forces to stay up?

drag forces

The Wright Brothers designed their airplane with a shape that gives the aircraft an advantage in the air. The shape is called a cambered wing and it helps the aircraft stay up in the sky. This shape causes the airflow to go faster over the top of the wing than underneath. This produces more lift for the airplane and allows it to stay up in the sky.

An airplane also uses thrust and drag to help it stay up. Thrust is the forward force that pushes an object forward. When an aircraft takes off, it needs a lot of thrust to power the engines and get the plane off the ground. Drag is a force that opposes thrust and is something that many airplanes use to balance themselves.

The two forces work together to keep an airplane in the air. Planes use a combination of these four forces and a cambered wing to keep themselves in the air.

What is drag and why does it make a plane go down?

Drag happens when the air around an object pushes against it. It makes it harder for a plane to fly through the air. This is why planes try to prevent drag, like adding curved surfaces or spoilers on the wing.

But three other forces act on an airplane to keep it up in the air. The weight of the aircraft is supported by its wings, which produce lift. Thrust is created by the engines of the plane, pushing against the ground and through the air. Lift is created by the wings pushing against the air. All four forces need to be balanced for an aircraft to stay up in the air.

If any of these four forces are too strong, they can cause a plane to go down. For example, if thrust is too strong, it can cause an airplane to shoot up into the sky too quickly and fly too high. A spoiler could help slow down the aircraft if this happens. But if weight is too strong, it can cause it to fall down too quickly. This is why many people say airplanes fly like birds.

Why do airplanes use thrust to push air over their wings?

Thrust pushes air over the wing. The air over the wing is moving faster than the air below the wing. As this difference in speed grows, it creates an area of low pressure above the wing and high pressure below the wing. The plane will rise up because of this pressure difference.

The plane can also use its wings to make a lot of lift, and it pushes air down to make the air go faster over its wings. This creates a difference in pressure on top of the plane, which then lifts it up.

As we’ve mentioned, the plane stays in the air because of these four forces: weight, lift, thrust, and drag. Planes keep themselves in balance by balancing these four forces.

Why do planes need weight to keep them from going into space?

weight force

Weight is the force that pulls an object towards the ground. The heavier the object, the more weight it has, and the faster it will fall. Planes are designed to be lighter than air, so there’s more air than planes above them. This means that planes only need a small amount of weight to keep them from going into space.

Why do planes use a lift to stay up in the sky?

What is lift? Lift is the force that occurs when air moves over the wings of an airplane. The air is then forced down, which creates an upward force on the wing. This upwards force is called lift.

Airplanes use this force to stay up in the sky and use aerodynamic properties like shape, size, and angle of the wings to create lift.

Airplanes also use other forces like weight and thrust to stay up in the sky. Weight is the force that occurs when gravity pulls on an object. Thrust is one of the forces that helps an airplane stay in the air. Thrust is the force that happens when an airplane’s propellers or jet engines push it through the air.


In conclusion, planes can stay in the air because of balance. Planes have four forces that act on them: weight, lift, thrust, and drag. So, to stay up, airplanes need to balance these forces. They do this by balancing the weight and thrust with the wings to create lift. This lift counteracts the airplane’s weight and thrust so that it stays up in the sky.

One more thing to keep in mind is that airplanes can achieve a balance by making adjustments to all four forces. When a plane changes the speed of its engines, for example, it changes thrust. When a plane changes its orientation in the air, it changes the gravitational force acting on it. This is how it adjusts its weight and balance, as well.

Hope you liked reading this article. What do you think about 4 forces that help an airplane stay on the air? Do you think that they’ll change in the future? Feel free to share your thoughts in comments below. 🙂

6 thoughts on “How does a plane stay in the air?

  1. This is an interesting topic. And it took many years for the pioneering aircraft designers to come up with models that would actually stay in the air. A deep knowledge of physics paid the way. And countless trial and error experiences delivered what we commonly use today in flights. The Wright Brothers contribution is valuable.

  2. This may sound dumb but I had always wondered how a plane was able to stay in the air. It just baffled me as to how something so big was able to stay in the air. This article has given me some sort of perspective so thank you for this. I will be sure to share this article with everyone I know 

  3. Aircraft engineering is one of the most fascinating for me, only nuclear energy is more fascinating. When you consider home much electronics are there, oil, and fluids, different types of materials, and it must do high pressures and high speeds, it is just phenomenal. I only miss the opportunity to see or fly with Concorde.

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