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Aileron Roll Problems
If so instructed by your teacher, print out a worksheet page for these problems.

Open the slide called Aileron Roll (with text). Study the labeled diagram and read the explanation of aileron roll.

After you have read the Web page about Aileron Roll, make a paper airplane. Click on How to make a paper jet model ( for directions or fold an airplane of your own design. Then:

  1.  Cut 0.25 inch ( 6 mm) slits about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the end of each wing and then fold these areas down. The tabs you have just made are called:___________________ 
  2. Looking at your paper airplane from the front, fold the right tab down and the left tab up, so that it resembles the diagram on the Aileron Roll Web page.What motion do you predict will result when you fly your airplane? ___________________________________
  3. Fly your paper airplane. Was the motion the same as your prediction in the question above? If not, describe how it differed. ______________________
  4. The paper airplane should have rolled counterclockwise around its center of gravity if viewed from the front. Where is its center of gravity in terms of the length of the airplane? ___________________ 
  5. Now bend the left tab flat and bend the right flap up. Predict the motion you will see when you fly the paper airplane: ______________________
  6. Fly the plane again. Was your prediction correct? If not, describe how it differed. ________________________
  7. If the tab is bent down, is more lift or less lift generated by the wing? _________________
  8. Bend the tabs on both wings up and fly your paper airplane. Explain what happened. __________________________________________
  9. In what situation would a pilot want to use the ailerons to roll the plane? ________________
  10. Where are the ailerons located on a commercial jet? ________________
  11. If the ailerons were used during landing to decrease lift, which way would they be deflected? ________________
  12. Where is a spoiler located on a wing of an airliner? ________________
  13. If a spoiler is deflected on the left wing of an airplane, which way would the airplane roll as viewed from the front? ________________
  14. If spoilers on both wings were deflected the same amount at the same time, how would the plane's position change? ________________
  15. Cut and attach small strips of paper to your paper airplane's wings with tape. Fly it. How did your spoilers affect the flight?

Related Pages:
Lesson Index
Aerodynamics Index


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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, May 13 02:38:26 PM EDT 2021

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