Ask an Explainer
How does an airplane fly upside down if the pressure difference is what generates lift?
The factors which affect lift are the size and shape of the wing, and also its “angle of attack,” which is how we describe the angle at which the airplane hits oncoming air. Since airplanes’ wings are rounded at the front, air flows smoothly around the wing whether it is right side up or upside down. Planes built to fly upside down, such as aerobatic airplanes, have curves on both sides of the wing, which makes it easy to fly upside down. Planes with a curved top and flat bottom depend on the angle of attack. If a plane’s wings are tilted enough, it can overcome having a flat bottom and fly upside down.