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Michael, Librarian
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 2532
Experience:  20+ years as information professional
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I understand how the shape of the wing of an aircraft gives

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I understand how the shape of the wing of an aircraft gives it lift.

My question is "How does a 'plane manage to fly upside down?"

I have seen 'planes fly upside down at air shows. Is it possible to flyany 'plane upside down, even a 747?

Hello, Thank you for using this service. I wish to introduce myself. I am a Research Librarian with 20+ years of experience.

Your question has been one that has the internet talking since the movie "Flight" starring Denzel Washington last year.

In a CNN article last year, this question was asked to Boeing who had this response:

"The MD-80 cannot sustain inverted flight," the statement said. "The MD-80, as with all commercial airliners, was designed to fly upright. Commercial airliners are only tested and certified for upright flight."

As for various reasons given for airliners, here is the article from CNN:

As for watching air shows and seeing the planes twist and turn and go upside down, the folks from the Smithsonian publication "Air & Space" explain how engineers and designers fool gravity and other forces to make a plane fly this way. The trick seems to be to fool the engine on the plane that it is not upside down:
Customer: replied 3 years ago.



Many thanks indeed for the interesting information about flying upside down.


The "Air and Space" magazine article is excellent.


Very many thanks



You are more than welcome as I also learned something about this by reading the article.

Librarian Michael
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