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on July 12, 2008 at 10:57:41 pm


Paper Airplanes






Remember when you would get in trouble for flying paper airplanes in school? Instead of banning them-let’s use them as a learning tool. Folding planes requires attention to detail and the ability to follow directions, both great skills for children to learn.  It is also a great way to learn the fundamentals of flight. The same forces that make a real airplane fly are involved with paper airplanes, just on a smaller scale.  


National Paper Airplane Home  From Scholastic  at http://teacher.scholastic.com/paperairplane/airplane.htm



What makes a paper airplane fly? Air — the stuff that's all around you. Hold your hand in front of your body with your palm facing sideways so that your thumb is on top and your pinkie is facing the floor. Swing your hand back and forth. Do you feel the air? Now turn your palm so it is parallel to the ground and swing it back and forth again, like you're slicing it through the air. You can still feel the air, but your hand is able to move through it more smoothly than when your hand was turned up at a right angle. How easily an airplane moves through the air, or its aerodynamics, is the first consideration in making an airplane fly for a long distance.

Drag & Gravity

Planes that push a lot of air, like your hand did when it was facing the side, are said to have a lot of "drag," or resistance, to moving through the air. If you want your plane to fly as far as possible, you want a plane with as little drag as possible. A second force that planes need to overcome is four forces "gravity." You need to keep your plane's weight to a minimum to help fight against gravity's pull to the ground.

Thrust & Lift

"Thrust" and "lift" are two other forces that help your plane make a long flight. Thrust is the forward movement of the plane. The initial thrust comes from the muscles of the "pilot" as the paper airplane is launched. After this, paper airplanes are really gliders, converting altitude to forward motion.

Lift comes when the air below the airplane wing is pushing up harder than the air above it is pushing down. It is this difference in pressure that enables the plane to fly. Pressure can be reduced on a wing's surface by making the air move over it more quickly. The wings of a plane are curved so that the air moves more quickly over the top of the wing, resulting in an upward push, or lift, on the wing.

The Four Forces in Balance

Long flights come when these four forces — drag, gravity, thrust, and lift — are balanced. Some planes (like darts) are meant to be thrown with a lot of force. Because darts don't have a lot of drag and lift, they depend on extra thrust to overcome gravity. Long distance fliers are often built with this same design. Planes that are built to spend a long time in the air usually have a lot of lift but little thrust. These planes fly a slow and gentle flight.







Start with













Demo version in 3D






On  line paper airplane design




http://www.amazingpaperairplanes.com/  these look like real ones.




Beginner Planes:

  Printable Template Video
Free Paper Airplanes - Arrow Arrow Download Button
Free Paper Airplanes - Delta Delta Download Button
Free Paper Airplanes - Classic Dart Classic Dart Download Button
Free Paper Airplanes - Condor Condor Download Button
Free Paper Airplanes - Dragonfly Dragonfly Download Button





 Paper Airplane Flight Simulator




     Click Here





 Things to consider


The following links are from http://paperplane.org/Education/education.html


NASA Aerodynamics Education


Overview of aerodynamics and the Guinness record (PowerPoint file)


Paper Airplane Experiments (PowerPoint file)


Careers in Aerospace Engineering (PowerPoint file)


Wing span vs. flight distance (Microsoft Word file)



Physics Software for more Advanced Work








































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