This project was derived from a project by Thingiverse member 23Meteor

A propeller's action creates a force in the upward direction, but the weight of the mechanism attached to the blades creates a force in the downward direction. In addition to up and down, the air rushing past the mechanism causes a resistance and also acts to pull it down.

There are two forces dragging the mechanism down and one force moving it up. If the one force moving the mechanism up is larger than the two forces acting down combined, the mechanism will lift up into the air. But, what happens if the size of the two forces acting down are almost the same as the one force going up?

In science and engineering, arrows are often used to depict the magnitude (size) and direction of different forces (vectors).

Can you answer this question?
Does size affect the ability to fly?


An airfoil is the shape of a wing or blade (of a propeller, rotor or turbine) as seen in cross-section. The airfoil shape of wind turbine blades creates lift while minimizing turbulence.

The lift on an airfoil is primarily the result of its angle of attack and shape. When oriented at a certain angle, an airfoil deflects the oncoming air, resulting in a force on the airfoil in the direction opposite to the deflection. This force is known as aerodynamic force and can be resolved into two components: Lift and drag.

Here are some resources to help you understand the complexity:
  1. http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/k-12/airplane/foil3.html
  2. http://www.ae.illinois.edu/m-selig/ads/coord_database.html
  3. http://www.ppart.de/aerodynamics/profiles/NACA4.html
  4. WindWiseEducation.org