Dr Srikrishnan touches upon various fundamental aspects of how an aeroplane functions - what it takes to be able to fly and how aeroplanes move forward, in layman terms.
As humans, we have all dreamt about the possibility of flying. But no human has so far been able to fly on their own. This is due to the gravitational pull of the earth that is constantly acting on us. Birds have wings and flapping them gives them an easy lift. Aeroplanes, in a similar fashion, are designed- in parts and structure to be able to lift up and fly distances.
A stationary aeroplane has the force of gravity acting on it. Once in the air, the gravitational force continues to act on the aeroplane. But additionally, another force acts on the aeroplane, in an upward, opposite (to the gravitational force) direction, making it stay in the air. The next question then would be - how is this upward force created? Due to the peculiar geometry of the cross section of the wing of the aeroplane, the air that blows across it gets pushed downwards. Since there is this downward deflection of air, an equal and opposite force gets created from below. This force, in the upward direction, is greater than the force exerted by air on the top surface of the wing, essentially lifting the aeroplane.
The physics behind an aeroplane moving forward as explained by Dr Srikrishnan without any jargons, is all about the force created by the engine. This is required for an aeroplane to move horizontally. By burning fuel, the engine converts chemical energy to thermal energy. The thermal energy is then converted to kinetic energy, due to which a higher momentum is created. This in return makes the aeroplane move forward.
The well-informed session about the operational aspect of an aeroplane was followed by Dr Srikrishnan briefly answering questions about thermal energy and the difference between aerospace and aeronautical engineering. He also talked in detail about the functioning of a boat, as opposed to an aeroplane, despite both moving in fluids.
Further to this, he highlighted the difference between the working of helicopters and aeroplanes because of the structure of their wings. He also elaborated on how the streams of aviation and aerospace engineering are distinct from each other; and the careers that one can pursue in both sectors post engineering.
How do Airplanes Fly
Dr Srikrishnan A. R. begins the session by explaining how airplanes fly and mange to stay up in the air, in layman terms. He explains about how airplanes fly, what technologies are implemented behind the flying process and the fundamentals of aerospace engineering without the use of any jargons.
Thermal Energy & How do Airplanes Land
Thermal energy and the application of the same in airplane functioning is elaborated here in detail by Dr Srikrishnan. He goes onto explain on how thermal energy is generated when airplanes operate and also debriefs on the working inside an airplane when it lands from a great height, without causing any harm to the infrastructure or passengers inside.
Aerospace, Aeronautical and Aviation Sectors
Dr Srikrishnan explains on how the sectors can be differentiated in simple terms – Aerospace includes both airplanes and rockets while Aeronautical Engineering specialises only in airplane technology, control and its structural functionalities. Aviation sector covers airplane companies that do not play in part in manufacturing but operation of airplanes.
Helicopters and Airplanes
Dr. Srikrishnan .emphasises on how helicopters and airplanes work differently right from take-off to the respective flying actions. He also elaborated on how airplanes function on stable wings that are attached to the plane body while helicopters have rotary wings. This and many more results in the differences in the operation of both.
Engineering Degree in Aerospace or Aeronautical Streams
With special focus on career prospects in both Aerospace and Aeronautical engineering sectors, Dr. Srikrishnan conveys how opportunities in the previously slowly-progressing Aerospace stream are also now picking up and on how the future seems to be bright for both fields.