Tuesday, October 25, 2011


DIRECTIONS: Divide class into flight squadrons (3 to 4 students per squadron). Have each student construct a 757 glider and write their name on the wing. Present glider challenges to squadrons. Explain to students the object of each event and how it is scored. Extra points can be obtained by completing a glider extension activity. Students should be encouraged to conduct some experimentation (i.e., add weight; reshape wing or tail) on their gliders in order to maximize the performance for the different objectives of each challenge. Rotate squadrons through the challenges keeping score on a squadron’s scoresheet. Debrief afterwards to discuss glider designs, experimentations, and outcomes.
Spot Landing Set-up: Tape off a large circle, 7 meters in diameter. Create a bull’s-eye ring with 3 circles, equally spaced from each other, inside the circle (5, 3, and 1 meter). Label circles (A, B, C, D) with A being the center ring. Give a point value to each circle with A being the largest point value and D being the smallest point value. Indicate the launching zone with another piece of masking tape 4 meters from the edge of outer circle. (You may wish to try a glider unmodified to see how far it can go and use the distance as a baseline for making adjustments.)
Playing rules: Object is to make modifications to the glider to improve its performance with the goal of launching the glider towards the circle and touching down inside circle A (the bull’s-eye).
Scoring: Points are determined by the spot the glider first “touches down” in the target area, not where it finally comes to rest. After each squadron member has landed their glider and determined the point score, the squadron’s combined points are entered on the score sheet.

Extensions: (1) Find the average for the squadron and enter on score sheet. (2) Try to land with a “downwind” -- a threespeed fan (using low, medium or high speed) located directly behind the launch zone. Discuss the performance changes.
With a given windspeed (low, medium or high), calculate the increased distance needed to land. (3) Repeat Extension 2, but instead have the glider land “upwind.” After completing Extensions 2 and 3 answer the question: Which way would pilots rather land an airplane, downwind or upwind? Why?
CHALLENGE #2 -- Launch and Land
Materials needed: 1 standard rubber band (10 cm) per student, 1 balance scale (metric) per squadron, 1 meter stick, paper clips Set-up: Establish a launch zone on a tabletop. Tape the meter stick to the edge of the table. Have students hook one end of rubber band to the glider’s nose, at Tab D, and the other end to the front of the meter stick. Have students pull glider back to the 20 cm mark on the meter stick and release. Measure distance from launch table to touch down point.
Playing rules: Object is to manipulate glider’s weight and, operating under “powered” flight, achieve the greatest distance from the launch zone.
Scoring: Add together each squadron member’s distance from launch zone to touch down.
(1) Find the mean, median, and mode for the squadron.
(2) Vary the length which the rubber band is pulled back on the meter stick (e.g., 10 cm, 25 cm, 40 cm) while holding the glider’s weight constant. Conduct several trials at each length. What impact does this have on performance?
(3) Vary the glider’s weight (number of paper clips) on different parts of the plane, wing, nose, tail, or body. Using constant thrust, conduct several trials, recording weight, weight location, and distance flown. What impact does weight have on performance?
(4) Determine the weight to thrust ratio for your glider’s best performance. Compare with other squadrons. What can you conclude about glider performance?
Assembly Instructions Read carefully before assembly.
1. Cut out all parts with scissors.
2. Cut all dashed lines (black and white).
3. Fold plane body in half.
4. Fold A inward to B. Now fold B  into plane section. This adds weight to the front of the plane.
5. Insert C into slot (dashed  line cut at bottom of B).
6. Fold tail section and slide it into slot in back of plane until it locks  into place (secure with tape so it stays in place).
7. Bend front and back "wings" to form glider.
8. Fold D inward. Tape the nose (at D) of the airplane and add paperclip.

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