The science behind aeronautics continues to fascinate and many people are attracted to engineering as a result of an early interest in aircraft. The most commonly asked question is how a wing can produce lift.
Unfortunately the most widely used explanation of lift is wrong in a number of key points. Not only is this confusing, but in the worst case it can lead to a fundamental misunderstanding of some of the most important aerodynamic principles.
In this lecture we will demonstrate why the popular explanation for lift is wrong and then propose an alternative explanation. Our arguments will be illustrated with a number of simple 'live' experiments as well as plenty of video clips from the aerodynamics laboratory in Cambridge.