Wing Area Effects Activity
Physics, Physical Science, Algebra I
- Demonstrate the
ability to read written presentations of mathematics with understanding.
- Use tables and
graphs as tools to interpret expressions, equations, and inequalities.
- Physical Science:
Motions and forces.
- Science as
Inquiry: Understanding about scientific inquiry.
- Science and
Technology: Understanding about science and 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.
and Decision-Making Tools - Routinely and efficiently use on-line
information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications,
communications, and productivity.
- After reading an
explanation from a NASA Web-based textbook on lift and an explanation
on the FoilSim software package given below, use FoilSim to evaluate
the relationship between wing area and lift.
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
Guide Index to access the list of slides. Open the slide called Size
Effects (with text) and read the explanation on how size affects
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
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
To use the slider:
- Click the mouse
pointer on the arrows at the ends of the slider.
- Click the mouse
pointer anywhere between the slider and the arrow.
- Drag the slider
with the mouse.
To use the input
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.
Now using the information
shown at Wing Area Effects Problems,
complete the problems designed to demonstrate your ability to calculate
the effects of changing wing area on lift.
You, or you
and your partner(s), will be evaluated on the accuracy or feasibility
of your answers.
- You will demonstrate
the ability to use information found on the World Wide Web and FoilSim
to evaluate the relationship between wing area and lift.
Dan Tuttle, Lorain Admiral King High School, Lorain, Ohio