OCT 03, 2017 4:56 PM PDT

Here's Why Some Planes Can Fly Upside-Down

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


Not all airplanes are created equally. Some are designed for slow and steady long-distance flights, while others are made for faster, short-distance flights (even while upside-down). The latter are usually light and agile aircraft with characteristics designed specifically for the job intended to carry out.

In each different type of airplane exists a distinct wing design that manipulates the incoming air in various ways. The result? - Varying levels of performance.

Commercial airplanes have thicker wings with a bubbled top and flat underside, which helps push the air underneath to generate lift for the rest of the aircraft. Many military fighter jets have similar wing designs, although thinner, because these aircraft need to travel at higher rates of speed.

Airplanes that fly upside down, like stunt planes, need double-duty wings that can push air either over or under the wing, depending on the angle of attack. These kinds of planes have symmetrical wing shapes, enabling the pilot can rotate the aircraft a full 180º and keep the plane airborne in any orientation.

Most non-stunt aircraft don't have symmetrical wings because they're unnecessary and asymmetrical wings are more fuel efficient.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
SEP 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
Scientists Document Swimming Styles of Sea Butterflies
SEP 10, 2020
Scientists Document Swimming Styles of Sea Butterflies
Snails, marine and terrestrial, are likely primarily imagined to be attached to a substrate. However, under the waves, t ...
SEP 11, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The Rise of (Micro)Robots
SEP 11, 2020
The Rise of (Micro)Robots
As reflected by Moore's law, the semiconductor industry has observed a tremendous growth in microelectronics in the ...
SEP 18, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Toward Understanding Anesthesia
SEP 18, 2020
Toward Understanding Anesthesia
General anesthesia refers to the medical procedure anesthesiologists applies to patients, in order to induce paraly ...
NOV 07, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Detect Origin of Fast Radio Burst in Milky Way
NOV 07, 2020
Scientists Detect Origin of Fast Radio Burst in Milky Way
Scientists have identified a burst of cosmic radio waves- intense flashes of radio emission that last just a few millise ...
DEC 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
The Surprising Way Honeybees Protect Hives from Hornets
DEC 10, 2020
The Surprising Way Honeybees Protect Hives from Hornets
"Murder hornets," more commonly known as giant hornets, might be new to North America, but in their native ran ...
DEC 12, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Superhighways in Space Enable Super Fast Travel Between Planets
DEC 12, 2020
Superhighways in Space Enable Super Fast Travel Between Planets
Astronomers from Serbia have found that invisible structures created by gravitational interaction in our Solar System ge ...
Loading Comments...