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Take off, Lesson 6

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The space shuttle rides on the back of a modified 747 jet


Educators, Students

Grade Levels

Grades 9-12


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This NASA video segment explores how Newton’s laws apply to the takeoff of an airplane. Viewers watch an instructor and engineer at NASA’s National Test Pilot School and learn that there are four opposing forces on an airplane, that takeoff is the point at which the lift just starts to offset the weight, and that the distance needed for takeoff can be calculated using an equation derived from Newton’s second law. The video clip also discusses the extra drag force created by the rolling friction of the airplane’s wheels.

Take off: Lesson 6
Duration: 11 minutes 41 seconds
View on YouTube

More videos and video clips in this series:
Introduction to Newton’s Three Laws, Lesson 1
The Law of Inertia: Newton’s First Law
Force Equals Mass Times Acceleration: Newton’s Second Law
The Law of Action and Reaction: Newton’s Third Law
Weight and Balance, Lesson 2
Lift and Rate of Change of Momentum, Lesson 3
Drag, Lesson 4
Thrust, Lesson 5
Climb and Descent, Lesson 7
Cruise, Lesson 8
The Landing, Lesson 9
The Landing: Approach
The Landing: Flare
The Landing: Rollout
The Landing: Summary
Flight Testing Newton’s Laws Main Page