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Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics
Wing Area Activity


Subject Area: Geometry

Grade level: 10-11

National Mathematics Standards:

  • Construct and draw inferences from charts, tables, and graphs that summarize data from the real world.
  • Represent and analyze relationships using tables, verbal rules, equations, and graphs.

National Technology Standards:

  • Research Tools - Use content-specific tools, software and simulations (e.g., environmental probes, graphing calculators, exploratory environments, Web tools) to support learning and research.
  • Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Tools - Routinely and efficiently use on-line information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications, communications, and productivity.

Objective:

After reading an explanation from a NASA Web-based textbook, you will demonstrate an understanding of the text by using it, along with FoilSim, to complete an activity to graph and interpret the relationship between lift and wing area.
 

Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics is a "textbook" of information prepared at NASA Glenn Research Center to help you better understand how airplanes work. Click Beginner's Guide Index to access the list of slides. Open the slide called Size Effect (with text) and read the explanation on how the amount of lift depends on the size of the object. Then using the information shown at Wing Area Activity, complete the problem designed to demonstrate your ability to use the relationship between wing area and 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

Assessment:

 You, or you and your partner(s), will be evaluated on the accuracy or feasibility of your answers.

Evaluation:

You will demonstrate the ability to use information found on the World Wide Web to find and apply the relationship between wing area and lift.

Submitted by: Melissa Hughes, Cardinal High School, Middlefield, Ohio


Related Pages:
Activity
Worksheet
Answers
Lesson Index
Aerodynamics Index

 

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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, Jun 12 04:46:39 PM EDT 2014

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