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From our ed: Lengthen the Runway so Black Mothers Can Take Flight

Recently, I’ve become enthralled with aviation science and the role aircraft runways have in a plane’s ability to take off or land. As an avid traveler, I love the mind-boggling science behind how a 400 ton plane speeds down the runway at 150+ miles an hour and up into the air, using wind and what pilots call “the angle of attack,” the upward tilt planes take to push more air under its wings and into the sky.

And when it’s time to land, a different set of laws of physics and engineering bring the plane back to earth, back to the runway apparatus where the flight once began.

This got me thinking about the importance of the runway itself. Usually made of asphalt, the runway is an essential part of how and if a plane is able to take off or land. The conditions of the runway, whether asphalt, gravel, or even sand, the weight of the plane and the load its carrying, and the length of the runway, whether too short or just the right length, all plays a role in a plane’s capacity to fly.


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