Ask an Explainer


What is the difference between flying and falling with style, as demonstrated by Toy Story? How long do you need to be afloat for it to count as flying?


To be actually flying, your flight has to be both sustained and controlled. This means you need to have a source of thrust, such as an engine, or propellers

Buzz Lightyear demonstrated gliding, the way paper airplanes fly. If the angle of attack of the wings is correct, and the speed at which the object is launched is enough, the wings can produce enough lift to overcome the object's weight and keep it from hitting the ground. However, drag will eventually slow it down until it is no longer producing enough lift, and it finally lands. Buzz lightyear described gliding very well in this iconic sentence, as you are in fact only delaying your inevitable fall.

Categories: Forces of Flight