We know that aeroplanes can fly, we see them every day. We see them high up in the sky flying very fast, and we see them taking-off and landing quite slowly. The photo above shows a B747-400 taking-off from the old Hong Kong airport.

The plane must be close to its maximum takeoff weight (just under 400 tonnes/ton) because it has crossed the end of a 3.5 km ( 2 mile) long runway at about 50 to 100ft. I imagine that its speed at this point would be close to 400 kph (250 mph).

  At cruising altitude this plane would fly at about 1,000 kph (about 600 mph). So how do they do it? How can such a heavy plane fly, and how can it fly at such a range of speeds?
Please click on the buttons above for an explanation as shown on the right:

Lift button How a wing creates lift.

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