MadSci Network: Physics

Subject: Why is an airplane stable on the ground?

Date: Fri Jan 19 11:53:53 2001
Posted by Paul
Grade level: nonaligned School: No school entered.
City: Boston State/Province: MA Country: USA
Area of science: Physics
ID: 979923233.Ph

I fly frequently and am am puzzled by aircarft stabilility on the ground, 
particularly immediately upon touch down.  The aircraft is essentially a 
150 mph tricycle with small wheels.  This seems inherently unstable.  If 
the plane land at an angle to the runway--say due to crosswinds--how can 
this small wheeled, 150 mph tricycle make the adjustment without losing 
control?  Empirical evidence proves it does, but as a CPA/MBA I'm 
baffled.  Thanks.

Re: Why is an airplane stable on the ground?

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