Online course

ABC of Flight Mechanics: How Do Planes Fly?

Discover how airplanes work and explore simple flight mechanics: from take off and landing, to the physics of flight.

Discover how planes fly

How does do planes take off? How do they fly? How do pilots maintain control of them? And how high do planes fly?

Get answer to all these questions and more with this course exploring the basics of flying and flight mechanics. You will learn how the laws of physics apply to airplanes and discover important concepts in flight including: lift, drag and propulsion, and longitudinal stability. You will also learn how to calculate a climb gradient or take-off distances.

You will leave the course with a better understanding of how planes work, and the basics of flights mechanics.

What topics will you cover?

The course goes through the following topics:

  • General description of an airplane
  • Atmosphere physics and Newton’s laws applied to the airplane
  • Lift, stall and ceiling
  • Drag and propulsion forces
  • Longitudinal stability

When would you like to start?

Who is the course for?

This course is for anybody interested in learning more about how planes work, the physics of flying or flight mechanics. It will be of particular interest to undergraduate students in aerospace engineering, trainee as well as senior pilots, journalists, and professionals in the aeronautics sector.

Who will you learn with?

Eric Poquillon

Eric is a lead flight test engineer, currently working as a flight dynamics professor at ISAE SUPAERO, and has conducted certification flight tests on various types of civil and military airplanes.

Who developed the course?

ISAE-SUPAERO, world leader in aerospace engineering higher education.

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Introductory offer. Available until 11 May 2019. T&Cs apply.