Preprint / Version 5

Lift is best explained by Newtonian physics (Force = ma)

Aircraft and wing design have stagnated for over 50 years due to the continued use of incorrect theories of lift (fluid mechanics).


  • Nicholas Landell-Mills none



aerodynamics, airplane, lift, Newton, physics, mass flow rate


A re-evaluation of evidence and logic provides novel explanation of how lift is generated by a wing. Newtonian mechanics (Force = ma) is shown to provide a more simple, straightforward and accurate explanation of lift and than currently available. This approach is different to the old Newtonian explanations of lift based on a change in momentum of the relative airflow, or airflow turning created by wings.  

According to Newtonian mechanics, wings with a positive AOA flying through a mass of air (m), that they accelerate (a) downwards, to create a downward force (Force DOWN). The equal and opposite upward force generated provides lift. See Fig. 1a. This process can be summarized by the equations: Force DOWN = ma = Force UP (Lift). Taken a step further, Newtonian mechanics based on the mass flow rate can better explain active lift generation using absolute airflow analysis.


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Author Biography

Nicholas Landell-Mills, none

independent research



2022-05-22 — Updated on 2023-04-27