Showdown of the wings
Prince of Wales Secondary
Floor Location : J 188 D
Have you ever wondered why different airplanes look differently? I certainly have. Why do slower planes have longer wings then faster airplanes? Why do some wings have a special shape? Choosing the correct wing type can make an airplane better at its job, more fuel efficient, or faster, and so affects us every day. In this project, I explore aerodynamics by observing whether or not the shape of a wing affects the speed of an airplane. I tested a long and thin wing, a short wing, and a swept wing by mounting each of them on a model airplane I designed and built.
First, I researched what affects the speed of an airplane, and how we can measure it.
I used a CAD program to design the plane on the computer from scratch, then built it by cutting it out from a sheet of foam board. Once everything was secure, I attached the first wing and it was off to the flying field. I flew each wing twice, and collected GPS data for two minutes. I found that each wing flew at about 35 Kilometers per hour, but changed from thirty to forty constantly. To my surprise, there was no difference between wings, and that on such a small scale, the shape of a wing does not affect speed.