Ok, now you have been flying a little while and you realize two things: Flying is fun! And there is a lot to learn to pilot a plane. The good news is the more you learn, the better the pilot you will be. In this lesson you will begin to learn about the four forces that act on an airplane. You will also get your first chance to do more than just fly; you can actually make changes to your airplane. As always, please read through this handout and watch the corresponding videos. You can always re-‐watch the videos if you need a helping hand.
Force is a push or a pull. It is composed of magnitude (how large the force is) and the direction of the force. We represent forces by drawing vectors (arrows) that tell us the magnitude and the direction of the force.
Let’s look at weight as a force on an airplane. Weight is the result of mass times gravity. This means that if you were to stand on the moon or another planet you would weigh a different amount because gravity has changed, even though your mass is still the same. The mass of the airplane includes the airplane structures (wings, tail, landing gear, etc), fuel, and payload. The payload includes cargo (mail and packages), crew, and passengers. The direction of this force in level flight is down or perpendicular to the flight path.
Download this complete lesson along with the worksheet in pfd version (May the Force Be With You Lesson).
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