Dart and Drag

What are the effects of increased drag on the flight of a paper airplane?

Recap:

  • We prepared a paper air plane by following the instructions on a guide.
  • We tossed the plane two times.  Once with a strong throw, and another with a softer throw.
  • We recorded the distance of each throw.
  • We cut the rear section of the plane’s wing, and folded tabs upwards on one side and downwards on the other.
  • The folded tabs increase wind resistance.  This increased the force of drag.
  • We threw the plane twice more.  Once with a strong throw, and another with a softer throw.
  • We recorded the distances, and compared them to each other.

Check out what we saw:

Throw 1 (hard; no added drag) Distance: 5.25 meters

Throw 2 (light, no added drag)  Distance: 10.6 meters

Throw 3 (hard, added drag) Distance: 3.3 meters

Throw 4 (light, added drag) Distance: 3.7 meters

Students prepare to make their throws from a constant start point and measure their distances.

Students prepare to make their throws from a constant start point and measure their distances.

math angles 010

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