• Question: why do you need science to fly a plane

    Asked by eoin04837 to Paul, Arlene on 13 Nov 2012.
    • Photo: Arlene O'Neill

      Arlene O'Neill answered on 13 Nov 2012:

      Science explains why a plane flies, so its probably important that all pilots understand all the scientific phenomena to get the plane in the air, speed it up, slow it down and many more things.
      I would be worried if I was on a plane and the pilot couldn’t explain how the plane flies, wouldn’t you? 🙂

    • Photo: Paul Higgins

      Paul Higgins answered on 13 Nov 2012:

      I would definitely want my pilot to know some fluid dynamics and aeronautics so that if we were about to fly into a giant storm cloud like a cumulonimbus, he would know that the air currents would be moving vertically- and planes are not meant to handle that! Also, he would know that the tropospheric layer of the atmosphere is turbulent, and that you will get a smoother ride, if you fly above it… That is why planes seem most bumpy when you are taking off and landing (because you are flying through turbulent air).