Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Circular motion of airplane

  1. Jul 14, 2003 #1
    what provide the centripetal force?

    the lifting force on the airplane? or the weight of the airplane? or both?
    i read from the book, it says both, but since weight [mg] is always acting downward, how can it provide the centripetal force?

    my teacher seems cant help me a lot.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 14, 2003 #2
    and is there any webpage that give a good explaination on circular motion of the airplane?
  4. Jul 14, 2003 #3
    I think it is the horizontal component of lifting force which gives necessary centripetal force for banking. In other words, an airplane needs to bank so as to turn in a flight. I don't think weight provides necessary centripetal force as it only acts down as you've said.
  5. Jul 14, 2003 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The lift is the only component unless the plane is flying in a downward spiral.
  6. Jul 14, 2003 #5


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    HERE is a good explanation of the force components in a turn.
    Remember, when a plane is in a turn, its banking. The lift is always perpendicular to the wing, which means part of the force (vertical component) can be considered lift and part of the force (horizontal component) can be considered the turning force. Generally though the resultant force of a wing is not vertical, lift is always the vertical component and drag is the horizontal in one axis and turning force is horizontal in the other.

    Also remember there is no force to balance the turning force - thats why the plane turns. A turn is an acceleration.
  7. Jul 16, 2003 #6
    thank you for the explaination.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook