3 Basic concepts every aeronautical engineer must know

3 Basic concepts every aeronautical engineer must know.

Newton’s first law-Inertia:

Every object persists in its state of uniform rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it.

Applied on the airplane:

There are four major forces acting on an aircraft.

  • Lift
  • Drag
  • Thrust
  • weight

When flying at a constant altitude (cruising condition). There is no net force on the airplane and it travels at a constant velocity in a straight line. (i.e)Lift=weight and thrust=drag.When the pilot changes the thrust of the engine, the thrust and drag will become unbalanced. The aircraft will move in the direction of a greater force.

Newton’s second law-Force:

Force is equal to change in momentum per change in time. For a constant mass force equals mass times acceleration.

F = m * a

Applied on the airplane:

The motion of an aircraft resulting from aerodynamic forces, aircraft weight, and can be computed by using the second law of motion.

Newton’s third law:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Applied to the airplane:

It helps to explain the generation of lift from an airfoil. Air, when deflected downwards by the action of an airfoil and in return, the wing pushed upwards.

jet engine also works on the same principle. The engine produces hot exhaust gases, which flow out the back of the engine. In reaction, a thrusting force produced in the opposite direction.

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