Landing P.A.D.
Derek MacPherson
Stratford Hall
Floor Location : J 053 P

I want to find out more about how the design of paper airplanes affect their distance. I want to test if the addition of winglets and the design affect the distance of flight.rnI will test this by sliding paper airplanes off of a ramp and into the open air, before recording which one has the greatest distance. I will need fifteen sheets of letter paper (three for each plane), a launch ramp and a launch area. The five designs will be the Nakamura Lock with and without winglets, the Dart Board with and without winglets and the Ring plane. I will not test the Ring plane with winglets as it does not have wings so that would be impossible. To test I will first have someone hold the launch ramp securely. Next, I will slide the aircraft off of the ramp, one at a time before measuring the distance with the use of a meter stick. The tests will be conducted in the cafeteria. The independent variable is the design of aircraft and the dependent variable.rnLooking back, it was apparent that the Nakamura Lock with winglets had the longest of the flights. The reason my hypothesis was proved incorrect was due to the fact that by folding up the winglets the wingspan was decreased, therefore lowering the distance of flight. The slim amount of efficiency the winglets may have provided was not enough to compensate for the shortened wingspan, rendering the non-winglet aircraft less efficient. The Ring aircraft, as predicted, had the shortest flight, due to the fact that it had no means of lift or even wings at all, putting it behind its competitors.rnUnfortunately, there were issues regarding validity in this experiment. There were obstacles and obstructions that may have shortened or lengthened the distance of flight. However, these obstructions remained the same for all fifteen launches so the tests were not altered throughout the tests. As well, having someone hold the launch ramp was additionally invalid. Other than that, though, the tests were valid and repeatable.rnThese tests could have a very large impact on the rest of the world, especially its effect on gliders. It would be very good to have an understanding the effects of winglets on gliders, to see if they have an effect. Efficiency is very key to all gliders and to change the way they operate by making them much more efficient would be a very large leap skyward.