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Aircraft Motion (Level 2) Activity
If so instructed by your teacher, print out a worksheet page for these problems.


image of plane banking left over the ocean

 


Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics is a "textbook" of information prepared at NASA Glenn Research Center to help you better understand aerodynamics. Click Beginner's Guide Index to access the list of slides. Open the slide called Aircraft Motion (with text) and read the explanation on Newton's Second Law and how it applies to the motion of an airplane. Then using the information shown below, complete the problems designed to demonstrate your ability to complete calculations involving the motion of an airplane.

You are the pilot of an airplane sent to drop supplies to victims of an accident that are stranded on a small island. The plane's altitude is always 500 meters and your speed is 89.61 m/s.

  1. Once released, how much time will elapse before the supply package reaches the level of the island?

    (Hint: Use the distance equation in the y-direction.) 

    time = ____________

     

  2. Will the descent time of the supply package change if the airplane's speed changes?

    (a) Yes (b) No

     

  3. At what (horizontal) distance in front of the island should the package be released in order to hit the island?

    dx = ______________

     

  4. What is the package's horizontal speed when it reaches the level of the island? 

    vx = _____________

     

  5. What is the package's vertical speed when it reaches the level of the island?

    vy = ____________

     

  6. What will be the package's flight angle with respect to the level of the island as it descends?

    q = ______________

     

    Suppose the victims on the island can retrieve supply packages that land within 30 meters of the island. The length of the island is 50 meters along the direction you are approaching.

  7. How far in front of the island would the airplane have to release the supply package for it to land 30 meters in front of the island?

    dx (front) = _____________

     

  8. How far in front of the island would the airplane have to release the supply package for it to land 30 meters in back of the island?

    dx (back) = _____________

     

  9. Time1 will be the time on your watch when you release the package and it lands 30 meters in front of the island. Time2 will be the time on your watch when you release the package and it lands 30 meters in back of the island. Calculate the amount of time you have to successfully drop the package, namely, time1- time2.

    time1- time2 = ________________

  10. What could be done to decrease the package's speed when it reaches the ground?

Related Pages:
Standards
Worksheet
Lesson Index
Aerodynamics Index

 

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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, Jun 12 04:46:36 PM EDT 2014

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