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Design of Airfoils and Problem- Solving Using FoilSim

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Subject Area: Physical Science

Grade Level: 9

National Mathematics and 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.

Objective:

After reading the explanation given below, complete the problem-solving activities to demonstrate an understanding of the concepts presented.

Time Required: 2-5 days


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 problem solving, click on Design of Airfoils and Problem-Solving Using FoilSim.


 Assessment:

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

Evaluation:

You will be able to use FoilSim to predict consequences and complete supplemental activities that provide further investigation of an airplane wing that generates a given lift.

 Submitted by: Richard Shea, Rogers High School, Toledo, 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 04:47:15 PM EDT 2014

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