Four Forces of Flight in Action


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Cayley’s Four Forces

Sir George CayleyIn 1799, Sir George Cayley (1773-1857) designed an airplane that incorporated a fixed wing, a separate propulsion mechanism, and a tail for stability. His design was revolutionary because he was the first to break lift and propulsion into two parts. He understood that the wings would not generate the power by flapping or some other means. Instead, Cayley envisioned a power source that was independent of the wings. He also introduced the concept of camber – curvature – of the wing. Wait! There’s more!

Sir George Cayley

Sir George CayleyIn 1799, Sir George Cayley (1773-1857) designed an airplane that incorporated a fixed wing, a separate propulsion mechanism, and a tail for stability. His design was revolutionary because he was the first to break lift and propulsion into two parts. He understood that the wings would not generate the power by flapping or some other means. Instead, Cayley envisioned a power source that was independent of the wings. He also introduced the concept of camber – curvature – of the wing. Wait! There’s more!

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