TeachEngineering Heads Up

TeachEngineering Heads Up

  • learn the different airplane parts, including wing, flap, aileron, fuselage, cockpit, propeller, spinner, engine, tail, rudder, elevator.
  • build one of four different (provided) paper airplane (really, glider) designs with instructions, and test in three trials, measuring flight distance and time.
  • design and build (fold, cut) a second paper airplane design of own creation, and also test for flight distance and time.
  • graph the collected class data. Analysis of these experiments with “model” airplanes and results to see and figure out what makes airplanes fly and what can be changed to influence the flying characteristics and performance of airplanes.

What’s the problem?
How might we WHAT: design and make a paper airplane in order to CHANGE: its flight characteristics to improve the distance and time of flight?

  • paper airplane designs
  • new improved design

That’s Engineering!
Engineers often create small-size models of a new product to test its design. This is especially true with airplanes. Model testing tells engineers how a design responds to different air conditions and aircraft shapes, and lets them experiment with the control surfaces that are used to steer the aircraft. Using small models guides engineers to discard prototypes that do not work, which is a smarter option than than throwing away full-size (large and expensive to build) aircraft that do not work.

  • aerodynamics – flow of air over the control surfaces in flight

Engineering ideas

  • engineering design process, model, prototype, test, iterate, improve, control surface

Learn more…