Air travel has become necessary and affordable over the years. It is one of the greatest inventions of mankind. It saves time, gives a sense of adventure, makes us see views that earlier only birds could access. It is still a wonder to most of us when a machine weighing hundreds of pounds can take off, travel long distances and stay mid-air sometimes.
Understanding the inner workings of an aircraft can help clear some basics on how a plane flies.
Read on to know how it all works.
The engines can also be referred to as the powerplant of the plane. This is the part that works to generate thrust to lift the plane into the sky. The engine also creates hydraulic and electric power, which the plane uses to operate. Also, the engine blades are manufactured using an electrical discharge machining process to remove excess material which helps keep the engine lightweight.
The wings of the plane are their most identifiable parts. These wings work just like those of a bird to lift the plane into the air and control the airflow as the plane flies. The tilt of the wings is a crucial part of the overall structure of the airplane as they allow the pilot to decrease or increase the descent rate of the plane when flying. It’s a big deal when a wing suffers damage, and it’s one of the reasons planes are generally kept in hangars when out of use.
The ailerons are the hinged surfaces of wings that aid in controlling lateral balance. These work to move the aircraft left or right by allowing the plane to roll in the desired direction. The ailerons work asymmetrically when flying. This means when the right aileron goes up, the left one goes down and vice-versa.
Slats are identified as the front-most portion of the wing. They are adjustable so the pilot can alter the slat to the desired level during the liftoff of the entire plane.
At the tail of the plane, there is a horizontal wing-like structure that protrudes out. These are the horizontal stabilizers and help to keep the aircraft’s equilibrium when flying up and down.
On the tail section of the plane, you’ll notice a shark-like fin. This is referred to as the vertical stabilizer. This helps to prevent lateral movements of the craft which could easily lead to slippage, making the plane uncontrollable to handle.
Pylons are existent on the wings of the aircraft between the wing and the engine. Its main job is to help to stabilize the airflow behind the wing. Without pylons, the drag on the wing will reduce the aircraft’s speed and overall performance.
Located at the back of the wing, the flaps are included to help the plane take off. These flaps are fitted to trail the edge of the wing sections. They extend out from the wing and increase the camber of the wings’ airfoil so that it can lift at low speeds, which is vital to landing successfully.
Most aircraft have at least one propeller to thrust the plane forward at a specific pitch, depending on the angle of the propeller blades. In smaller crafts, you’ll see the large propeller blades on the front. For commercial crafts, these tend to be integrated into the wings of the plane.
We hope by now you have a better understanding of an oft wondered question of how planes fly. Of course, the entire assembling and engineering contribute to this marvelous feat but there are some important parts that stand out from the rest. The new Boeings and airbuses have auto-pilot systems where the planes can take off and land on their own without much human effort. This is another area of technology that is impressive just like fully automatic cars.