Airborne Analysis
Nolan Pontes
Albion Elementary
Floor Location : J 129 P

Nolan Pontes March 2007rnAlbion ElementaryrnrnAirborne AnalysisrnrnAfter doing a large amount of research, using the Internet, I chose to do my experiment on aircraft wing designs. I wanted to understand how the various wing designs would impact flight performance. The reason I chose this experiment is because of my interest in aircraft styles and designs. I presented my plan to my teacher, Mr. Blaine, who provided me with some feedback, then approved it. I immediately got to work.rnrnThe purpose of my experiment was to determine which aircraft wing design flew best. I set out to create five designs, each with a different aspect ratio from which to conduct my analysis. I was careful with the aircraft designs to make sure the variables remained controlled. Each wing design had the same surface area, equal to 288 square units. I used 1/4 inch graph paper for this. All five of the wing designs had a different aspect ratio. The aspect ratio is calculated by dividing the length of the wing by its width. Research suggests the higher the aspect ratio, the less drag there is created on the wings of the aircraft. The theory is that the less drag there is, the more the aircraft can accelerate and the longer distance it can travel. rnrnI built the planes using balsa wood. I traced the wing designs onto the wood then used an exacto knife to cut them out. This was very precise work and took quite a while. I then cut out the bodies making sure they were exact in every way and sanded them down with a dremmel tool. You must have an adult around when doing this part of the experiment. After that I experimented with placement of the wings. I spent two entire days trying different placements. rnrnI explored different heights to release my planes. Eight feet seemed to work best. I stood on an 8-foot platform to carry out the flight experiment. Each plane was tested three times. rnrnAircraft five traveled farther than aircraft three but they both had about the same travel time. This occurred because aircraft three presented more drag, traveled a shorter distance and took longer because of the drag created. The aspect ratio of this plane told me this would be the result. Aircraft five went the farthest distance and had the longest time. 8.61 metres was the average flight distance and 2.07 seconds was the average flight time for aircraft five. Technically, the outcome of the aspect ratio equation was true for each plane. rnrnI enjoyed doing this project because I learned many new and interesting facts about airplanes and designs. Even though this experiment used model airplanes, the aspect ratio equation is used in designing modern day aircrafts.rnrnI look forward to presenting my experiment and its results at the Regional Science Fair. I hope you enjoy my experiment as much as I enjoyed doing it! rn