Aerodynamic forces in flight, diagram

Aerodynamic forces in flight, diagram

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Credit: CARLOS CLARIVAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Aerodynamic forces in flight. Diagram showing the forces (arrows) that act on an aeroplane in flight. Lift is generated through, and acts perpendicular to, the wings. Weight is a force generated by gravity that acts perpendicular to Earth'€™s surface. Thrust is generated through the engines, which act horizontally, parallel to the flight path. Drag, the natural resistance of an aeroplane while moving through air, acts parallel to the flight path. During level cruise, the force of lift equals weight, with one exceeding the other during climbing and descent. At constant airspeed, the force of thrust equals drag, with one exceeding the other when accelerating or decelerating.

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