How do propeller planes work? How do they stay in the air?


How do propeller planes work? How do they stay in the air?

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The propeller is a spinning wing. It creates lift but the lift is in the forward direction. This then pulls the plane forwards. The wings do the wing thing and provide lift upwards.

When air hits a flat panel at an angle, it gets deflected by the angle of the panel. Change the shape of the panel to optimize this and you get a wing.

Spin your wing in a circle, and it pushes air out one side. This is a fan, or a propeller. This generates a force on the wing in the opposite direction that it pushes the air.

Strap that to an airplane body and it pushes the airplane body forward.

Strap wings onto that, and the forward motion of the body + wings deflects air downward and thus pushes the body up.

Get a sheet of paper hold it by both corners on one of the short sides, then blow along the top of the paper. If you this correctly you will see the other end of the paper rise up and start flapping a bit. This happens because of Bernoulli’s theorem, its a bit complicated but the simple part that we can focus on that as the speed of a gas increases its pressure drops. and its also how a venturi works [this video]( has a good demonstration of how this works.

I’ve explained the concept butt how is it used? Well we want high pressure on the bottom par of the wing to push up, and low pressure on the top part of the wing so it doesn’t push down as much. But how do we do this? Lets take a circle and cut it in half, now we have a semicircle, but how do we fly this through the air? we need to pick the furthest two parts of our semicircle these are the corners of the cut we made, the first one will be the leading edge (the first part of the wing that the air touches) and the second point will be the trailing edge (the last point the air touches) we keep leading edge in the front of the trailing edge and move it through the air with the curved bit on top and we should create lift our upwards force.

How a propeller works is the exact same way as the wing except we spin the propeller to generate a forwards force instead of an upward one.

Our wing at this point isn’t very good and there are many things we can do to make it better but that’s a bit out of the scope of this. Although if you would like any more questions answered or anything clarified i be happy to answer.