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Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics

Cruising Aircraft and Balanced Forces Worksheet

1. Define force.

2. What are the four forces acting on an airplane?

3. How do each of the four forces act on an airplane in flight? (Which direction does each force push or pull on the airplane in flight?)

4. Define balanced and unbalanced.

5. In terms of the four forces acting on an airplane, what needs to happen so the forces are balanced? What do we call it when all four forces are balanced on an airplane?

6. You are traveling on an airplane and the pilot announces on the intercom that you have reached your cruising altitude of 32,000 feet. Explain what the pilot is telling you. (Include what is happening with the four forces on the airplane).

7. During a flight when we are cruising at a specific altitude, the four forces are balanced. At which points during a flight are the forces unbalanced?

8. Define Newton's First Law of Motion.

9. In your own words, explain how Newton's First Law of Motion explains the motion of a cruising airplane.

10. What are some ways the forces on an airplane can become unbalanced? (Name at least three).