Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Model Plane Flight Calculations

I was helping a science teacher friend yesterday with a lab using rubber powered free flight model airplanes flown indoors. The airplanes had been built already but I had helped with that in the past. The plane used was the Denny Dart II which uses small rubber bands to hold on the wing. This is nice for moving the wing to change the Center of Gravity or swaping a new wing in when one is broken.

Planes Ready to Go

The first session did not appear to go the best and class times are so short that everything needs to go like clockwork. For the next session I flew my IMP model plane from Easy Built which is a really stable flying plane indoors or outdoors. It did seem to help the students to see what a good flight should look like.

IMP Model Plane

Data was collected on the specs of the plane and then more data for the length of flight and distance covered to calculate velocity. They were also watching for the point in the flight where the plane leveled off and forces would balance out.  The accuracy in collecting the data was probably not real good but the lab was more about learning the concepts of the calculations.

Bill Kuhl

For an explanation of many aspects of simple aerodynamics with math problems check out my article Basic Aerodynamics With a Lesson

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