Friction and Tension Provides Lift

Why do airplanes fly? because of the shape of their wings. That shape is called an airfoil. An airfoil splits the flow of air around the wing as it moves at speed. Friction is caused as the air flows over the top of the wing and creates a strong lifting force. A plane flies because of friction.

A boy and his dad were flying a kite. Realizing this was a teaching moment the dad turned to his son. “What do you think holds the kite in the sky?” The son thought a moment then said, “It’s the wind.”

“Nope” the father said. “It’s the string.”

“That can’t be,” said the son. “The string is holding the kite down.”

The dad smiled. “Then let go of the string.”

The boy hesitated. “The kite would fall because . . .” he was at a loss for words.

“It’s the tension of the string that keeps the kite in the sky,” said the father.

Remember: whenever you want to shy away from friction or tension in your life, first consider that you can’t fly without it. It’s the friction and the tension that helps you grow. It’s the friction and tension which makes you strong. It’s the friction and tension which holds you up.

Without friction and tension, you’d fall.

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