To Non-Java ALLSTAR Network Website

                                                                                                                                                                        JAVA-capable browser required for graphic-based menus (Exploer 3.0 or Netscape 2.0 or greater)

Please let me remind all of you--this material is copyrighted.  Though partially funded by NASA, it is still a private site.  Therefore, before using our materials in any form, electronic or otherwise, you need to ask permission.
There are two ways to browse the site: (1) use the search button above to find specific materials using keywords; or,
(2) go to specific headings like history, principles or careers at specific levels above and click on the button.
Teachers may go directly to the Teachers' Guide from the For Teachers button above or site browse as in (1) and (2).

FAQnewred.gif (906 bytes)           

How lift is produced

Lift is a partial vacuum created above the surface of an airplane's wing causing the wing to be "lifted" upward. The special shape of the airplane wing (air foil) is designed so that air flowing over it will have to travel a greater distance - faster - resulting in a low pressure area ( see illustration) thus lifting the wing upward. Lift is that force which opposes gravity.
<img src="images/lift-v.gif" align="bottom" width="352" height="200">

Many believe that this explanation is incorrect because flat wings (such as seen on balsa wood airplanes, paper planes and others) also have managed to create lift.   Please read How planes fly:  the physical description of flight as well to get a fuller understanding of the creation of lift.  It is at a more advanced level, though.

Send all comments to
1995-2017 ALLSTAR Network. All rights reserved worldwide.

Funded in part by From
Raytheon Aviation
Educational Materials

Updated: March 12, 2004