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Old June 6th, 2016 (5:53 PM).
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hi science side of pc. so I'm a newly certified commercial flight instructor and I'm going to begin working in this field pretty soon (June 13). obviously a firm understanding of the principles of lift and how various aircraft achieve it is a vastly critical area I need understand, considering that I'm going to be teaching it to my students pretty soon here. problem is, I came across a document written by NASA which conflicts with a majority of the reference materiel I've been basing my knowledge on (as well as certain flight instruction I've received during my training), and I can't seem to wrap my head around it. https://www.grc.nasa.gov/www/k-12/airplane/wrong2.html

first of all, there is no math or physics prerequisite for pilots -- the level we are required to understand these concepts exists pretty much at the surface, so none of the materiel goes very in-depth. it's all pretty pedestrian, but generally my references discuss three lift factors which assist flight, I'll paraphrase them:

a) pressure differences on the top and bottom of the wing which exploit Bernoulli's Principle (as a fluid speeds up its pressure decreases). I have been told that wings are designed asymmetrically to create low pressure above a wing (air striking the surface speeds up) and high pressure beneath it (air striking the surface slows down). widely regarded lift factor, although NASA refutes it on the first page.
Spoiler:

Spoiler:


b) lift is created when air strikes the bottom of the airfoil which deflects it downward, causing an equal upwards reaction. this reaction is greater as the angle of attack increases (which is the angle between the longitudinal axes of the wing and the relative air striking it). comparable to how a kite creates lift
Spoiler:


c) wing protrudes downward, sending streamlining air downward as it passes over the upper surface of the wing. this creates an upward reaction
Spoiler:


I'm wondering if anyone with a physics background can make any sense of NASA's article because I'm having trouble wrapping my head around it. I'm also wondering how I should teach these elements to my students, considering that teaching NASA's explanation of lift would be going against standard curriculum.
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Old June 6th, 2016 (7:20 PM).
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On the article, in its heading, it states that it is an incorrect theory? I think what you're asking is why the article doesn't describe how lift is generated, and since it says that it is incorrect, it's safe to say that doesn't happen (not for commercial flights anyway). I think that pretty much answers your question. o:

As fair as I know, that theory only applies at much, much faster velocities and much higher up in the atmosphere, such as upon the re-entry of a space shuttle.
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Old June 7th, 2016 (9:19 PM).
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If it states that it's an incorrect theory, then why are you using it as consideration? I'm pretty sure Bernoulli's principle alongside the wing shape was the globally accepted reason as to why lift occurs on wings. At least as far as I know.
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Old June 7th, 2016 (10:17 PM).
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okay I guess I wasn't clear with this, but the nasa article is claiming that the widely regarding lift components taught in the curriculum I have to teach are false, hence the "incorrect lift theory" title. if the elements discussed in the article are true, then I have to decide if I want to teach the concept of lift from those non-standard sources, or play it safe and teach from the FAA approved material (which may be wrong). by the way, if I endorsed a student to take an aeronautical knowledge test and they were found to be deficient in the areas of lift, I could get into trouble if I was found to be teaching concepts which conflicted with their approved subject material, such as the above article.
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Old June 8th, 2016 (11:56 AM).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiff View Post
okay I guess I wasn't clear with this, but the nasa article is claiming that the widely regarding lift components taught in the curriculum I have to teach are false, hence the "incorrect lift theory" title. if the elements discussed in the article are true, then I have to decide if I want to teach the concept of lift from those non-standard sources, or play it safe and teach from the FAA approved material (which may be wrong). by the way, if I endorsed a student to take an aeronautical knowledge test and they were found to be deficient in the areas of lift, I could get into trouble if I was found to be teaching concepts which conflicted with their approved subject material, such as the above article.
If that's the case, I'd probably stick with the current lift theory from the FAA. While it may possibly be incorrect by NASA standards, it's not worth risking anything over.

Besides, if down the road NASA's theory proves to be true, the FAA will adopt it into the curriculum and phase out the traditional concept of lift, and everyone that took tests would just have to learn the new content.
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