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Weightlessness during a parabolic flight
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- Title Weightlessness during a parabolic flight
- Released 11/09/2002 5:36 pm
To fly a parabola, the pilot makes the aeroplane climb sharply at maximum speed, and then allows it to ‘fall’, which means the thrust of the engines is levelled to precisely match the drag of aeroplane. The aeroplane is steered in such a way that the wings deliver no lift at all, so it is in a state of free fall. Everything inside the aeroplane is now weightless. About 20 seconds later, when the nose is pointing down 42 degrees, the pilot pulls it up sharply. After a short break, the whole process is repeated. During a normal parabolic flight, the pilot flies 31 parabolas.