My son arrived home from school yesterday. After a physics lesson his homework involved flight and the wing and why it flies.
After questioning him I find he was told that a wing flies because of the reduced pressure of air flowing over the top surface of the wing and hence lift is generated. Bernoulli in other words.
The problem I have with that is that it has been known for years that this is not the full story, the pressure difference explained by Bernoulli accounts for a very small percentage of the lift generated. By far the vast majority of lift is generated by the deflection of the mass of air downwards, Newton in other words.
Wings fly because a mass of air is deflected downwards mostly, the additional lift from Bernoulli just helps it.
I suppose the best example of this is when an aircraft takes off, if it was purely down to Bernoulli the aircraft would simply lift off the ground once it attained take off speed without having to pull back on the stick, but they never would because the lift generated is simply not nearly enough. Aircraft have to flair or give the wing an angle of attack to the airflow to generate real lift and get the plane off the ground.
Having looked around the web there still seems to be a raging debate about this for some reason.
What were you told at school, and where do you stand on the debate, with Bernoulli or Newton ?