Flying Blind

“In December 2003, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first flight of the Wright brothers, the New York Times ran a story entitled ‘Staying Aloft; What Does Keep Them Up There?’ The point of the piece was a simple question: What keeps planes in the air? To answer it, the Times turned to John D. Anderson, Jr., curator of aerodynamics at the National Air and Space Museum and author of several textbooks in the field.
What Anderson said, however, is that there is actually no agreement on what generates the aerodynamic force known as lift.” Ed Regis in Scientific American: No One Can Explain Why Planes Stay In The Air. (I can’t even explain how tray tables work.)

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