Aerodynamics & Hydrodynamics Science Projects (49 results)

You've seen for yourself, or in videos, planes flying, rockets hurdling towards space, boats racing through the water and submarines exploring the depths of the ocean. Have you ever stopped and thought about the aerodynamics and hydrodynamics involved in their operation? There is a lot of interesting science that goes into how they work!

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Helicopters are fascinating to watch. The spinning rotor blades on top of the helicopter generate lift, allowing it to take off vertically. They can land vertically, too, allowing them to set down in small spaces, such as hospital helipads or on a ship at sea. In this aerodynamics science fair project, you will fly a remote-controlled helicopter and measure how the rate of the rotor's rotation changes as the helicopter hovers and flies up or down. Read more
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Most drones fly with a mix of human input and autonomous control based on feedback from electronic sensors. This allows the drone to fly up and down when the human operator presses a joystick on a controller, but automatically hover at a fixed distance above the ground when the operator lets go of the joystick. In this project, you will explore drone programming with an Arduino. What types of inputs and sensors can you make your drone respond to? What behaviors and responses can you program… Read more
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Naval fighter pilots seem to defy physics each time they fly their jets off of an aircraft carrier. Normal runways are thousands of feet long so that airplanes can develop enough lift to fly. But a runway on an aircraft is much shorter. How can naval pilots get their fighter jets into the air without falling off the carrier into the ocean? Well, because they get a boost from a catapult! Sounds unbelievable? It's not, and you can find out more about catapult-assisted takeoff in this aerodynamics… Read more
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Do you wish that you had duck feet? Aside from being a fun Dr. Seuss story, there is a lot you can learn about hydrodynamics by looking at the feet of birds. How are the feet of birds that swim unique? Find out in this experiment. Read more
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Have you ever noticed how some jet planes have small, vertical projections as the tips of the wings? They're called winglets. What are they there for? Read more
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Does the force of drag have an effect on the distance the puck will travel? Think of a way to launch the puck with a reproducible force, and examine the effect of launching the puck in different orientations on the distance it travels. For more information on the physics, see Haché, 2002. Read more
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Ok, well you will not be making real monkeys fly, so what is this science project all about? You might think that flying, screaming monkeys and science project do not belong in the same sentence, but you will be working with toy monkeys, and toys can sometimes be great tools for exploring science. In this science project, you will launch flying, screaming toy monkeys and determine how far they fly with the stretch of a rubber band. The distance they will go can be graphed to see how distance… Read more
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Sailboats, tugboats, barges, ocean liners, submarines are all different boats with different shapes. How does the shape of a boat's hull affect how easily it moves through the water? This project shows you how you can investigate this question using a homemade water trough and model boat hulls. Read more
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Who'd have thought that drinking milk can lead to a pretty cool boat? Boat design is an important and active area of engineering. In this science fair project, which was inspired by a PBS DragonflyTV episode, you will design and build different kinds of model boats out of milk cartons. Examples of the types of designs you might test include a raft, a catamaran, and a V-shaped hull. Once the model boats are built, you will test key features, such as stability, maneuverability, and their ability… Read more
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You 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… Read more
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