In the past few days, we have been learning about the forces of flight and how they apply to airplanes, more focused on paper airplanes. We scrolled through websites and watched some videos and in the end, I built three planes. The four forces of flight are thrust, drag, lift, and gravity. Thrust is the push that the plane gets when you throw it into the air. Drag is the air pushing back against the plane, slowing it down. Lift is the air moving over and under the wings that keeps it in the air. Gravity is the weight of the paper plane pulling it down towards the Earth.
My first airplane is this one that has the red initials on it. When it flies, it spins around. It doesn’t even fly straight for one second. It does stay in the air for a little while though. My plane goes really fast so it has high thrust. My plane does not have a lot of upward lift force because it flies for a tiny bit, but then it flies down as it spins. It doesn’t have a lot of drag since it goes really fast. Finally, it has a high gravitational pull because it only flies for a few seconds, and then it spins to the ground.
My second airplane is the one with the blue initials on the wings. This plane is actually my best plane. It stays in the air for a while and then it gently glides down. This plane goes kind of fast so I would say it has medium thrust. I would say that it also has medium upward lift force because it stays in the air longer than my first plane. It definitely has some drag because it also doesn’t go as fast as the first plane either. It also has a low to medium gravitational pull because it doesn’t go straight down, it slowly glides down.
Finally, my third and last plane just doesn’t work at all. I probably made it too short lengthwise and the wings are too big.
Overall, I think my first and second planes were successful. When we do the project with wood planes, I can apply some of the characteristics of each plane and combine them to create an even better and more efficient plane.