Ask an Explainer


Why dont planes have the mechanics to flap their wings to achieve more lift?


Before aerodynamics were better understood, people worked for years trying to flap their wings like birds to fly. It never worked. The problem is, even with large, flapping wings, we're still not built to fly: we're too heavy, and so are planes.


Using Bernoulli's principle we can create enough lift to get off the ground, without even needing to flap the wings. Flapping wings would require a whole lot of energy, and would have to be made of a different material than aluminum, as that would be too rigid. 


Ask an Explainer