the best science on the web about
flight

How Things Fly: Forces of Flight
Image: iStockphoto.com/olaser

How Things Fly: Forces of Flight

For humans, It's one of our greatest scientific and technological achievements. For birds, it's a feat of evolution.

Four forces guide flight: drag, weight, thrust, and lift. Find out how humans and animals manipulate these forces to conquer the skies.

Smithsonian
Loading...
Dogfight: The Great War - Flight Games

Dogfight: The Great War - Flight Games

You are a WWII flying ace. Your mission is to win the air battle — also called the dog fight! More...

Game
Flightgame
Flight Aerodynamics Video

Flight Aerodynamics Video

What allows a 150,000-pound, 135-foot aircraft to climb thousands of miles into the air? Take an in-depth look at the roles lift, thrust, drag, and weight play in the aerodynamics of flight. More...

Video
GearDownFS
If Superpowers Were Real: Flight

If Superpowers Were Real: Flight

It's a bird, it's it a plane...wait, it's just Laura from first period! What if superpowers were real and people could fly? Explore the possibilities and perils of human flight. More...

Video
TED-Ed/Joy Lin
TU-95

TU-95

Every wonder what it would be like to fly a bomber jet? In this game, Commander Pavel Zhukovsky teaches you how to take off, adjust your landing gear, hold altitude, and land safely. More...

Game
fog.com
PacSci-Doku: Perpetual Flight

PacSci-Doku: Perpetual Flight

Use the available letters to solve this Sudoku-like puzzle and answer the question, "What airplane is designed to fly indefinitely without refueling?" More...

Game
Pacific Science Center
The Incredible Hoop Glider!

The Incredible Hoop Glider!

Your challenge: Turn a plastic straw and 2 paper hoops into a flying machine. Then add more hoops or change their sizes. Experiment with this glider for a hands-on demonstration of "drag." More...

Activity
ScienceBob
Faster, Higher, Farther

Faster, Higher, Farther

In the effort to fly farther on less fuel, the use of composites has more than tripled in aircraft over the past 15 years. But composite parts bring challenges. See how they're being overcome. More...

Article
3M
National Air and Space Museum Photos

National Air and Space Museum Photos

The oldest known aircraft photo is an 1857 ambrotype of a hot air balloon. See it and other milestones in the history of flight on Earth...and in space. More...

Images
National Geographic
Scientist Profile: Aeronautical Engineer

Scientist Profile: Aeronautical Engineer

David Urie has wanted to help humans fly ever since he was a kid. As a teen, he designed model planes. His latest invention is the SkyTrac, a kind of body surfboard for parachute jumpers. More...

Profile
DragonflyTV/PBS
The ‘Ultimate’ Science Fair Project: Flying Disk Aerodynamics

The ‘Ultimate’ Science Fair Project: Flying Disk Aerodynamics

Grab a Frisbee and use the principles of aerodynamics to predict and test its flight direction and distance. More...

Profile
Science Buddies
Wright Brothers Game

Wright Brothers Game

What inspired these legendary brothers? How did they decide who got to be the pilot? And who was in their first ground crew? Rack up flyer points for each correct answer in this game. More...

Interactive
NASA
100 Years of Flight: Interactive Timeline

100 Years of Flight: Interactive Timeline

Scroll down this timeline of major contributions to modern flight. Click on each circle for information. More...

Interactive
Scholastic
Autonomous Helicopters

Autonomous Helicopters

Meet Claire Tomlin, who's building a new class of autonomous helicopters. These aircraft can navigate the skies without a pilot — on the ground or in the air. More...

Profile
National Science Foundation
Design a Mars  Parachute

Design a Mars Parachute

Find out how engineers created parachutes that can help a Mars Exploration Rover descend safely onto the Red Planet. Then build your own and test it out in a virtual wind tunnel. More...

Interactive
NOVA/PBS
Dynamics of Flight

Dynamics of Flight

Air is a physical substance. Discover how we exploit its physical properties to create the ideal conditions for flight. More...

Article
NASA
Four Forces of Flight Song

Four Forces of Flight Song

Having trouble remembering the history of flight and the four forces that make it possible? Use the song stylings of Mr. Parr and Swedish House Mafia as a study tool. More...

Video
Mr. Parr
How Birds Can Fly

How Birds Can Fly

Birds and planes fly very differently. Discover the differences between the flight of a plane and the flight of birds with this classic Mr. Wizard clip. More...

Video
Mr. Wizard
How Wings Work

How Wings Work

The cross-section of a wing is an airfoil. Its shape changes in the way air moves past the wing, causing lift. See how the airfoils of historic aircraft create lift in different ways.
More...

Interactive
Smithsonian
Incredible Wingsuit Flight through a Tiny Cave

Incredible Wingsuit Flight through a Tiny Cave

Ever wished you could glide like a bird? That's just what this professional BASE-jump athlete does. Watch Alexander Polli's aerial stunt...at 150 mph. More...

Video
Yahoo News
PacSci-Doku: Futuristic Transport

PacSci-Doku: Futuristic Transport

What has four wheels, two wings, and fits in your garage? Solve this Sudoku-inspired puzzle to find out. Hint: The answer is a real thing, not a riddle! More...

Game
Pacific Science Center
Stealthy Shapes: How to Make an Aircraft Invisible to Radar

Stealthy Shapes: How to Make an Aircraft Invisible to Radar

Dreamed of being invisible? Engineers make planes almost invisible to parts of the EM spectrum. Get a feel for how with this activity. (Or just read the excellent "background" section.) More...

Activity
Science Buddies
Types of Engineering

Types of Engineering

Explore the variety of engineering careers — aerospace, agricultural, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer hardware or software, electrical, environmental, geological, nuclear, and petroleum. More...

Article
Exxon Mobile
Vertebrate Flight

Vertebrate Flight

Flight has evolved only three times in the millions of years of vertebrate history. Investigate the secrets of animal flight to find out how vertebrates are able to take to the skies. More...

Article
University of California Museum of Paleontology
Virtual Skies

Virtual Skies

Every plane you see in the sky represents lots of behind-the-scenes work. Explore aircraft and airport design, navigation systems, air traffic control, and more. More...

Video
NASA
Wings for Flight

Wings for Flight

Many planes have been designed to mimic birds, but does function always follow form? Compare the flight capabilities of birds and planes. More...

Interactive
Science Learning Hub

Latest Comments

You Also Might Like

  1. CERN

    CERN

  2. hydropower

    hydropower

  3. ROVs

    ROVs

  4. satellites

    satellites

  5. robotics

    robotics