Bernoulli Principle

Bernoulli principle

The Bernoulli principle explains why aeroplanes fly and racing cars stick to the ground going around corners when they really shouldn’t. It is to do with lift force and downforce created when air flows over an aerofoil.


The Dutch-Swiss mathematician, Daniel Bernoulli, discovered that where there is an increase in the velocity of fluid there is a decrease in the pressure. This is known as the Bernoulli principle.

An aeroplane wing works by splitting the air and sending part of the air over the top curved surface and part below the wing along the flat surface. The air that goes over the curved surface has to travel further. This means the same volume of air occupies a greater space. As a result, the air pressure over the curved surface is lower. This creates lift.

If a wing is turned upside down then the same thing would happen but the wing would be pushed downwards. This wouldn’t be much use for an aeroplane, but it is handy for racing cars.

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