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Basic Airplane Balance--The Wright Brothers' Bicycle Test

Activity

Aeronautics Logo

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


Access this site to simulate the bicycle wheel balance test (http://firstflight.open.ac.uk/). If necessary, download the Shockwave program to run the simulation. Go to Flyers then Wright Brothers. Click on movie + simulation, which will take you to a page called The Bicycle Balance. Click image + simulation to begin the bicycle wheel balance test. By running the simulation, determine at which angle of attack the wing and the flat plate balance.

  1. Circle the results of the test of each angle of attack for the Lilienthal Wing and for the Flat Plate.

    Angle
    Lilienthal Wing
    Flat Plate
    4

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    5

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    6

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    8

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    10

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    12

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    14

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    16

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    18

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    20

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    22

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    24

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    26

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

    clockwise - balanced- counterclockwise

  2. At which angle did the Litienthal wing balance? ____________________________

     

  3. At which angle did the flat plate balance? _________________________________

     

  4. What conclusions can you draw about the angle and shape of the objects in relation to balance?

Related Pages:
Standards
Worksheet
Aerodynamics Activities Index
Aerodynamics Index

 

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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, Jun 12 04:48:25 PM EDT 2014

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