# Questions tagged [lift]

Lift is the aerodynamic/hydrodynamic force on a body moving through a fluid that opposes the force of gravity. DO NOT USE THIS TAG for elevators. For aerostatic/hydrostatic lift in fluidstatics use the [tag:buoyancy] tag instead. For EM forces use the [tag:levitation] tag instead.

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### Levitating capacitor

As the title already says, I would like to make a large capacitor levitate. Before you dismiss this question please hear me out: In essence, this is intended to be a way to avoid the constrains of a ...
344 views

### If gravity were to suddenly change, would the lift generated by a airfoil also change [closed]

If gravity were to suddenly change, would the lift generated by a airfoil also change? I realise that if gravity were to increase, then weight would also increase, leading to a change in the ...
5k views

### How many grams of helium are required to lift an object weighing $X$ grams?

I once saw a video on youtube about how a man used a collection of balloons to lift himself along with his lawn chair from one side of Los Angeles to the other. My understanding of physics is a bit ...
435 views

### Can lift contradict conservation of energy?

In cruise flight of an aircraft lift does no work, it just holds the aircraft aloft. In order to climb aircraft pitch up and need excess energy because the thrust vector now has a vertical component ...
989 views

### How does a hovercraft hover, if it has low pressure underneath it?

I've read a few different explanations of how hovercrafts hover, and they all mention a low-pressure cushion of air. This confuses me though: If there is low pressure under the hovercraft, why doesn't ...
785 views

### Do rotating non-circular projectiles also experience Magnus lift?

The Magnus effect has been studied on spherical projectiles such as golf balls, tennis balls, and soccer balls. The backspin of a golf ball leads to Magnus lift that opposes gravity, thus allowing the ...
667 views

### Is fuelless aviation possible?

I've read the article Gravity powered aircraft flies with no fuel. This is making me confusion, as I can not discern if it is credible. Is it an hoax?
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### Given airplane mass, velocity of air under wing, and a wing area, find velocity of air over wing

I attempted to solve this problem as a tutor for a student and struggled, but want to be convince the professor didn't provide enough information. The problem is essentially: We wish to maintain a ...
49 views

### How can a rotating cylinder produce lift? [duplicate]

In the air, the velocity and angular momentum that causes a force against gravity is lift. How can a rotating cylinder make lift with angular momentum?
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### Is Magnus effect a corollary of Bernoulli principle?

Magnus effect is commonly explained using Bernoulli principle. However, taking the lift on a rotating cylinder as an example, the velocity difference is caused by the extra work done by the rotating ...
446 views

### Understanding equation for force acting on stones skipping over water

I think I have a decent conceptual understanding of the forces at work when stones are skipped over water. My question pertains to this equation, $$F = C_L\rho U^2S\sin({\alpha + \beta})$$ which ...
916 views

### Force Keeping Water Skier Afloat

A motionless water skier sinks because the upward buoyancy force on the skier is less than the downward force of gravity on the skier. A skier pulled by a boat does not sink into the water. Why?
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### Am i trying to fly by pulling myself up by my hair? [closed]

I'm currently trying to build a multi-rotor of my own, and am testing it when i noticed that the lift that i am supposed to be getting is wayy less than what i am expecting. I have a rectangular body ...
667 views

### Is this xkcd comic feasible? [closed]

I was reading through some xkcd comics, and I came across this one (http://xkcd.com/620/). In the comic, one of the main characters harnesses 91% his weight in order to be able to 'fly' with the lift ...
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### Is there a way to convert CFM (rate of air moved) to kilograms of lift generated?

Is there a way to convert CFM as in a rate of volume of air moved to kilograms of lift generated?
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### Period of a pendulum in a lift going up [duplicate]

So I know that the period of a pendulum in a free falling elevator isn't going to change because there is no force acting on it since $$T = 2\pi\sqrt{\frac{\ell}{g}}.$$ So what happens to a pendulums ...
11k views

### Calculating the force required to lift a weight with a screw

I am trying to learn physics by myself as I do not have a good teacher at school. I've been reading Feynman Lectures on Physics and I can't figure out how he found out this number. Here is an excerpt ...
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### Why can't we fly? [closed]

Why can't we fly? It contradicts with our known laws of physics, but which one? Is it possible that once we know gravity better we would be able to fly using some sort of anti-gravity machines like ...
199 views

### Measuring small amounts of lift in a wind tunnel

I am doing a science project on how paper airplanes generate lift, and I need to know how to measure the amount of lift generated by the plane.
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### Do wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of air?

It is often said that wind turbines convert the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity. But in respect to horizontal wind turbines with airfoil shaped blades this is imho not the case. Wind ...
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### What is a Physically Accurate Explanation for the Kutta Condition?

Countless arguments between highly intelligent people have been waged (on this very site in fact) as to exactly how lift can be explained in an experimentally and mathematically rigorous way. Taking ...
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### What does centre of lift depend on?

I've read in many places that centre of lift is about quarter chord of the wing and that post-stall lift (the part developed on lower surface) has centre midchord. The later makes sense; the pressure ...
6k views

### Integrating pressure over a surface

Consider the 2D airfoil below. (source: gsu.edu) In engineering (and maybe physics) you will often see something like the following as an expression for the pressure force acting on a surface (in ...
1k views

### Could the phenomenon of vortex bursting be exploited to reduce wake turbulence?

One of the classic stories in the annals of aerospace engineering is the development (and subsequent redesign) of the F-18 and its Leading Edge Extensions (LEX) due to fatigue problems, problems that ...
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### Why do co-rotating vortices coalesce, but not counter-rotating ones?

In studying the aerodynamics of modern aircraft equipped with high-lift devices, I have discovered that quite a number of distinct trailing vortices are present in the immediate wake of an airplane in ...
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### Calculate the weight that a hot air balloon can carry [closed]

Given a hot air balloon of radius 10 meters and negligible mass, calculate the maximum weight it can carry if the density of outside air is 1.2 $\frac{kg}{m^3}$ and the density of inside air is 0.9 \$\...
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### What does a wing do that an engine can't?

This isn't a question of how a wing works -- vortex flow, Bernoulli's principle, all of that jazz. Instead, it's a question of why we need a wing at all. A wing produces lift, but why is that ...
200 views

### Maximum helicopter height [duplicate]

Helicopters or dual/quadcopters stop rising after reaching some height from the ground. What causes that? And what one should do if he want to prevent this, if he want the helicopter to keep rising up?...
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### Uses of the Reynolds number

I have seen a lot of places talking about the Reynolds number and how it is calculated, but I have never seen an equation that actually made use of this number to calculate lift, drag, or other ...
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### Does the lift created by a wing change when the slats are deployed?

This is a conceptual question as much as an empirical one, but the question is: Does the lift of a wing change when the slats (or any other leading edge device) are deployed? I am stipulating that the ...
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### Would an airplane flying through superfluid helium experience lift and drag?

Would an airplane flying through superfluid helium experience lift and drag? The airplane is presumed cold enough to not heat up the helium.
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### Counter rotating propellers: better in same column or staggered?

In an octo-copter design, is it better to put four pairs of counter-rotating props over each other so that each pair works in a column together? Or will you get more power or efficiency from ...
194 views

### Quadrotor dynamical equations on center of propeller

I work on a quadrotor project. It is commonly wide dynamical model according to the center of quadrotor. However, I need quadrotor dynamic equations on center of one of the propellers. It seems very ...
586 views

### Velocity in the lift equation

What exactly is the nature of the velocity in the lift equation? I have read that it is the velocity of the aircraft, and I think I have read that it is the relative velocity of the air to the wing/...
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### Exactly how much lift is needed to overcome the weight of an average person?

I am designing a "glider" of sorts, and I have some basic questions about the physics involved to get me started. How much lift is required to overcome the weight of an average person, say 150 pounds? ...
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### Are the hypotheses of the Bernoulli equation satisfied for a bird or airplane wing at low Mach number?

A previous question by David Zaslavsky was a request for a broad, "how things work" type of explanation of the lift of an airfoil. The answers given there are enlightening, but don't address a more ...
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### Could some design of a propeller be used in both air and water?

Propellers in water are smaller in diameter. They also move more slowly. On the other hand, aircraft propellers are larger in diameter, have narrower blades and operate at very high speeds. An ...
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### Surviving Free Fall with the Help of Mr. Bernoulli

What is the best strategy to survive a free fall naked out of a jetliner at cruising altitude (ignoring temperature)? For instance, my strategy would be to streamline my fall so that my terminal ...
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### Can a balloon be used as an anchor point for a pulley?

For a physics/ engineering contest, I want to use a large balloon as an anchor point for a pulley. This would allow me to raise and drop masses. However, in testing, when I pull on the pulley the ...
1k views

### Forces on an aircraft - thrust, lift, drag, weight

I'm extremely sceptical about the wikipedia page on aircraft flight mechanics. When describing 'straight climbing flight', it says: lift is unable to alter the aircraft's potential energy or ...
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### How much effect does the Bernoulli effect have on lift?

I understand that the Bernoulli effect is a flawed explanation for the cause of lift, and does not cause much at all, but how much? Is there any experimental data on the force caused by the ...
650 views

### How does the position of lift affect the stability of the lifted object?

Consider this example: Treat G as 10. The blue blocks provide lift of 10N, or -1KG. The red block has a weight of 20N, or 2KG. The black bar has no weight. All have their center of gravity in their ...
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### Does a wing in a potential flow have lift?

I have a hard time understanding whether or not a wing placed in a potential flow, assuming there is no viscosity and no friction with the wing, will produce a lift. I've seen several contradictory (...
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### How much lift does the average latex helium filled party balloon produce?

How much lift does the average helium filled party balloon produce? (not including any extras like ribbon string)
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### Is flying really easier on smaller scales?

In the book Playing with Planets, the author makes the following argument, pertinent to flying robots of the future: As it is, an important law of physics says that smaller organisms fly much more ...
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### Why don't rockets tip over when they launch?

Rockets separate from the launch pad and supporting structures very early in flight. It seems like they should tip over once that happens. Why don't they tip over ? Is it due to a well designed ...
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### Does launching a rocket in lower density air require more or less fuel?

Given two environments that are identical, except for air density (e.g. Cape Canaveral, but at Mount Everest's height), would launching a rocket require more or less fuel at the lower air density?
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### Forces on an airfoil

I'm building an airplane (Super Baby Great Lakes) and I'm wondering something about airfoils. In particular (this plane is fabric covered), I'm wondering about the lifting forces on the main wings. I'...