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• Inventions
• Physics
• Isaac Newton
• Newtons Laws of Motion

# What are the effects of Newton's three laws of motion on the flight of a glider?

Wiki User

2008-11-21 16:59:24

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If we take this simply, we can manage it. Let's take it one law at a time. First, inertia. Bodies at rest tend to remain at rest and bodies in motion tend to remain in motion. And both of those are in effect unless the body is acted upon by an outside force. For the glider, it is going to need to have some force applied for it to start flying (gliding). It will also be subject to some pretty complex forces when flying. Gravity is pulling down, and aerodynamics is supplying lift and the shape of the thing will engender drag (or "friction moving through the air" if you like). When air moves in a nonuniform way around the glider or when the control surfaces are used, things happen. There is a lot of stuff going on that has to do with inertia in a flying glider. It's inertial moment changes every microsecond (or less) as it is flying and interacting with the air. The second law of motion, that a change in motion is proportional to the force acting on a body, is tied to the first one. It takes a certain amount of force to get the mass of the glider moving to make it start to fly (or glide). The amount of force is proportional to the mass of the glider, and the more massive the glider, the more force is required to get it going. Same with changes in flight. The more massive the glider, the more force the control surfaces will have to effect to change the course of the thing. And smaller irregularities in air flow will have little affect on a more massive glider while they will affect a small, light glider more noticeably. Lastly, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When a glider is in flight, any movement of the glider will move some volume of air in a given direction with a given amount of force to cause the glider to stay aloft or to change direction. When the glider pushes on air to maneuver, the air will "push back" on the glider and/or its control surfaces. Certainly it is pushing up on the underside of the wing to give the glider lift, and the air is being pushed down with equal force. Newton's laws of motion can be reviewed by using the link to the article on them posted by our friends at Wikipedia, where knowledge is free.

2008-11-21 16:59:24