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Most people are familiar with the Standard Configuration the most common airplane design However recent revelations in both military and general aviation have shown at least a slight movement toward different arrangements of an airplanes lift and control surfaces These variations in aircraft structure include the canard configuration and the flying wing First we must understand the basic principles of flight before any different configurations of lift surfaces can be discussed In order for any object to gain lift it must have a force pushing it upwards which is greater than its weight This force called lift results from the differing pressures on the upper and lower surfaces of the wing The air that hits the leading edge of the wing separates Part goes over the wing and part travels underneath it The top of the wing curves or is cambered causing the air passing over the top of the wing to go faster than the air passing under the wing The lower surface of the wing is relatively flat so air travels at or near its normal speed Bernoullis Law says that as the speed of gas or fluid increases its pressure decreases Pappas 2 Therefore there is a greater air pressure under the wing than there is above the wing This greater pressure under the wing pushes the plane up When this force exceeds the pull of gravity on the aircraft flight is achieved Two other forces affect an aircrafts movement through the air thrust and drag Thrust is the force provided by an aircrafts power plant which pushes or pulls it forward through the air Drag which counteracts thrust is the force of wind resistance against the aircraft It is supplemented by various appendages on the aircraft such as the wings stabilizers and the fuselage The less drag there is on an aircraft the faster and more economically it can fly Drag
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