It’s interesting seeing the fluid dynamics of modern flight turned backwards on a stationary aircraft. Normally during takeoff, an airplane flies into the wind to create as much air movement as possible over the wings. It’s a mixture of the Bernoulli effect and a variety of other physical principles, but the end result is lift as a function of air speed.
And if the aircraft isn’t moving? Technically you can still get lift with enough air speed. Youtube user CaptainHarlock999 captured an amazing video this week in an aircraft boneyard outside of Los Angeles. With winds at the scrapyard reaching over 70MPH, enough lift was actually generated by a 747’s wings to actually pick the fuselage up off of the ground, bouncing the plane around as the back wheels stayed in place.
The Southern Air 747 in question was actually scheduled to be scrapped, so the engines and much of the interior were stripped off of the airframe. Because of that reduced weight the aircraft was able to lift off the ground — so don’t worry, it won’t happen to you on your next trip!
[via Steven Frischling]