Q:

# How does gravity affect flight?

A:

Gravity pulls objects downward, toward the Earth’s center, so anything that flies must counteract gravity’s pull. Using forward thrust and the lift provided by wings, an airplane overcomes the effects of gravity and flies. Gravity also affects the stability of a plane in flight, which makes distributing weight and maintaining balance essential.

## Keep Learning

All forms of flight overcome gravity using a combination of forces to provide lift. For terrestrial flight, forward thrust through the air provides the speed to move forward, and this thrust allows air to move underneath the wings to provide lift. Both aerodynamic forces counteract the weight of an object, allowing it to lift into the air. Rockets use vertical thrust for lift instead of wings and overcome gravity by rapidly applying an upward force until the effect of gravity weakens.

A flying object can overcome gravity with lift, but stabilizing the object in flight requires balancing weight evenly because gravity still pulls on the object. The center of gravity determines how well an object behaves in flight. With proper weight distribution, a flying object moves through the air evenly, with minimal need for additional controls. If weight shifts too far forward or backward, the object can lose its aerodynamic balance, reducing lift and causing a crash.

Sources:

## Related Questions

• A: Gravity attracts objects that have mass and pulls them toward the center of the Earth. Everything on Earth is held by gravity including the atmosphere.... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: The two main concepts to understand in order to solve projectile motion problems are that projectiles in flight constantly accelerate downward due to gravi... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: One classic game to illustrate gravity involves repeating Galileo's experiment of dropping various objects and timing how long it takes for them to hit the... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: Newton's law of universal gravitation states that the force of gravity is a universal force between all objects proportional to both masses and the square ... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
PEOPLE SEARCH FOR