NASA Logo - Web Link to NASA.gov Vertical Line

+ Text Only Site
+ Non-Flash Version
+ Contact Glenn

Go
ABOUT NASA NEWS AND EVENTS MULTIMEDIA MISSIONS MyNASA WORK FOR NASA
NASA Logo

Upside-Down Wings

Aeronautics Logo

Subject Area: Physics, Physical Science

Grade Level: 9-12

National Science Standards:

  • Science as Inquiry: Understandings about scientific inquiry.
  • Physical Science: Motions and forces.
  • Science and Technology:
    • Abilities of technological design.
    • Understandings about science and technology.

National Technology Standards:

  • Technology research tools: Use content-specific tools, software and simulations (e.g., environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments, Web tools) to support learning and research; select and use appropriate tools and technology resources to accomplish a variety of tasks and solve problems.
  • Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Tools - Routinely and efficiently use on-line information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications, communications, and productivity.

Objectives:

After reading the explanation given below, use FoilSim to complete the activity to design an airplane wing that generates a given lift.


FoilSim is an interactive simulation software package that examines the airflow around various shapes of airfoils. As you change parameters such as airspeed, altitude, angle of attack, thickness and curvature of the airfoil, and size of the wing area, the software calculates the lift. The package was created at the NASA Glenn Research Center.

FoilSim II is a Java applet program that executes inside the browser of your computer. It is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/foil2.html. You can also download the program to run off-line.

Shown below is a screen shot from the program's controls and displays. You may change the values of the variables by using the slider or the input box on the left of the slider.

To use the slider:

  1. Click the mouse pointer on the arrows at the ends of the slider.
  2. Click the mouse pointer anywhere between the slider and the arrow.
  3. Drag the slider with the mouse.

To use the input box:

Simply select the value in the input box, key in the new value, and press Enter or Tab when finished. The button on the slider will move corresponding to the value typed in the box.

Image of FoilSim Interface

To begin the problem, click on Testing Your Wings Activity below.


Assessment:

Students will be able to create graphs that represent the speed of air passing an airfoil and a baseball. They will be able to generate, in written format, possible relationships that would develop as the shape of a baseball is elongated into the shape of an airfoil.

Evaluation:

Students will be able to use FoilSim to demonstrate that the graphic analysis of the airflow around one object can be used to hypothesize airflow graphs for objects as they are elongated from a sphere to an airfoil shape.

Submitted by: Lorri Turner, Monticello Middle School, Cleveland Heights, Ohio


Related Pages:
Activity
Worksheet
Answers
Lesson Index
Aerodynamics Index

 

     First Gov Image


+ Inspector General Hotline
+ Equal Employment Opportunity Data Posted Pursuant to the No Fear Act
+ Budgets, Strategic Plans and Accountability Reports
+ Freedom of Information Act
+ The President's Management Agenda
+ NASA Privacy Statement, Disclaimer,
and Accessibility Certification

 

NASA Logo   
Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, Jun 12 04:47:13 PM EDT 2014

+ Contact Glenn