Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fly Forever Paper Plane - Exercise in Critical Thinking

What would seem impossible can be possible but when it comes to visual media it seems we are being tricked everyday. At least I do not believe everything I see in advertising. There have been a couple of videos on YouTube lately related to flying a paper plane that are getting a huge number of views under the premise that the planes could fly forever. The source of the energy is by artificial  means but the basic science for the lift is well known science; thermal air currents and dynamic lift.

In this first video a paper plane is kept aloft by the heat coming from the heat rising from an electric range, my range has different size burners so I can not accurately repeat the experiment. Many people believe this video is real and many think this has been faked.  I am leaning to that it has been faked but not completely positive and I will give some of the points I have considered.


* What do we know?   There are a lot of very popular videos in the Internet that were faked. Many get a huge number of views and it is a marketing technique.

* The videos can be based on sound actual principles of science.

* There are people that are so sure that what is presented is real they blast people that question that it is real with very nasty comments.

* Personally I have been so sure something to be true and was proven wrong, that is not a great feeling so I try to listen to others with an open mind.

*There is a very popular television show based on proving what is real and what is not Mythbusters.

* The observations of the people stating that it is a fake are not always accurate either, this reduces their credibility.

* There are many demonstrations that can be done that would appear to be impossible or look like magic.

*Some demonstrations require very accurate execution and might not be easily repeatable.

Example Glider Circling stove:

* Now this is based on a thermal which is rising air that airplanes and birds can maintain or rise in with no propulsion other than gravity pulling down the glide slope while the air pushing up maintains or increases the altitude.

*Model free flight gliders can circle in thermals outdoors without any control.

Free Flight Model Glider Could Circle in Thermal Lift 

Radio Control Glider can Stay Aloft in Thermal Lift

This Tiny Foam Glider Stays Aloft by the Air Over the Cardboard Being Pushed
Many People Think This is Impossible but I Have Done it Many Times
Darcy Whyte Photo

* It would appear in the video that flaps on the paper glider which is a flying wing so the surfaces are known as elevons are directed to turn to the outside of the circle.  Maybe the glider has a tendency to slide to the center of the circle and a turn outwards is needed to balance this.

* The flight looks so smooth within such a close proximity, whenever an airplane flies the air is disturbed behind the aircraft. It would seem flying in such a small circle the plane would be rocking in its’ own wake.

Additional Info:

Dynamic Soaring Paper Airplane Video

No comments:

Post a Comment