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Understanding Aerodynamics

Understanding Aerodynamics

  Secondary | Structures | Views: 95

This activity illustrates:

Lift: the force that opposes the weight of the aircraft, causing it to move upwards.

Drag: the force that opposes the forward motion of the aircraft through the air.

Thrust: the force that pushes and moves the aircraft through the air.

To make an aerofoil, you will need:

  • a piece of paper
  • some tape

What to Do:

1. Fold a piece of paper in half.

2. Once folded, move the top half piece of paper back from the edge. This creates an upward camber.

3. Stick the top piece of paper to the bottom half using tape.

4. Place your aerofoil on a flat surface and apply moving air to it (blow, fan, hairdryer) level with the edge of the surface. What happens?

Apply lift, drag and thrust using moving air and try some different aerofoils and camber types:

  • Create an aerofoil with a flat bottom and small upwards camber.
  • Create an aerofoil with a flat bottom and a larger upwards camber.
  • Create an aerofoil with a square front.
  • Perhaps recreate some of the aerodynamic aerofoils pictured.


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