What Makes a Good Aerodynamic Design? Test Your Ideas with High-Performance Paper Gliders *
|Time Required||Average (6-10 days)|
|Material Availability||Readily available|
|Cost||Low ($20 - $50)|
AbstractYou have probably made plenty of regular paper airplanes simply by folding a piece of printer or notebook paper. Have you ever tried making a "high performance" paper glider? These gliders use a different construction technique that involves cutting multiple shapes out of thicker, stiffer paper and gluing them together (this process is called lamination). There are many resources online that can get you started with the art of making high performance paper gliders. See the references in the Bibliography section or check out a book like Fabulous Paper Gliders.Once you have some experience making the gliders, pick independent and dependent variables and conduct an experiment. For example, you could measure how using different weights of paper or different amounts of glue affects flight distance, or how different glider designs compare to each other. Remember that there will be a lot of variability between individual throws of a paper airplane, so you will need to conduct many trials to get good data.
Andrew Olson, Ph.D., Science Buddies
Edited by Ben Finio, Ph.D., Science Buddies
Cite This Page
Last edit date: 2017-07-28
- Ivy, M. (2004, January 16). High-Performance Paper Airplanes: G-1. Zovirl Industries. Retrieved April 10, 2015 from http://www.zovirl.com/2004/01/15/high-performance-paper-airplanes-g-1/
- Benson, T. (2014, June 12). Gliders. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Retrieved April 10, 2015 from http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/glider.html
- AG Industries (2003). Whitewings Science of Flight Lesson Plan. AG Industries. Retrieved April 13, 2015 from http://web.archive.org/web/20040630054529/http://www.whitewings.com/edu/WWLessonPDF.pdf.
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