The question how a wing generates lift gets the following answer on Wikipedia under Lift Force:
- There are several ways to explain how an airfoil generates lift. Some are more complicated or more mathematically rigorous than others; some have been shown to be incorrect.
- Most of them are intended to explain the phenomenon of lift to a general audience. Several theories introduce assumptions which proved to be wrong, like the equal transit-time theory.
PS2 As an real-life illustration study my Interview with Glenn Research Center:
- The correct theory of lift is fairly complex. saying that the answer is complex means just that ... it is complex, it isn't simple. But we know what it is.
- Many people look for simple answers to questions, when the answer may not be simple. When the answer is really complex, people make simplifying assumptions so that they can get a simple answer. Unfortunately, with fluid mechanics, when you make simplifying assumptions you can get the wrong answer. That's what has happened with the incorrect theories and their inability to produce meaningful results.