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Basic Airplane Balance--The Wright Brothers' Bicycle Test

Answers

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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

    counterclockwise

    counterclockwise

    5

    counterclockwise

    counterclockwise

    6

    counterclockwise

    counterclockwise

    8

    counterclockwise

    counterclockwise

    10

    counterclockwise

    counterclockwise

    12

    counterclockwise

    counterclockwise

    14

    counterclockwise

    counterclockwise

    16

    counterclockwise

    counterclockwise

    18

    balanced

    counterclockwise

    20

    clockwise

    counterclockwise

    22

    clockwise

    counterclockwise

    24

    clockwise

    balanced

    26

    clockwise

    clockwise

  2. At which angle did the Litienthal wing balance? 18
  3. At which angle did the flat plate balance? 24
  4. What conclusions can you draw about the angle and shape of the objects in relation to balance? Answers will vary.

 


Related Pages:
Standards
Activity
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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