
Aircraft
Motion (Level 2) Activity
If so instructed by your teacher, print out a worksheet page for these
problems.
Beginner's Guide to
Aerodynamics is a "textbook" of information prepared at NASA Glenn Research
Center to help you better understand aerodynamics. Click Beginner's
Guide Index to access the list of slides. Open the slide called Aircraft
Motion (with text) and read the explanation on Newton's Second Law
and how it applies to the motion of an airplane. Then using the information
shown below, complete the problems designed to demonstrate your ability
to complete calculations involving the motion of an airplane.
You are the pilot
of an airplane sent to drop supplies to victims of an accident that are
stranded on a small island. The plane's altitude is always 500 meters
and your speed is 89.61 m/s.
 Once released,
how much time will elapse before the supply package reaches the level
of the island?
(Hint:
Use the distance equation in the ydirection.)
time = ____________
 Will the descent
time of the supply package change if the airplane's speed changes?
(a) Yes (b) No
 At what (horizontal)
distance in front of the island should the package be released in order
to hit the island?
d_{x}
= ______________
 What is the package's
horizontal speed when it reaches the level of the island?
v_{x}
= _____________
 What is the package's
vertical speed when it reaches the level of the island?
v_{y}
= ____________
 What will be the
package's flight angle with respect to the level of the island as it
descends?
q = ______________
Suppose the
victims on the island can retrieve supply packages that land within
30 meters of the island. The length of the island is 50 meters along
the direction you are approaching.
 How far in front
of the island would the airplane have to release the supply package
for it to land 30 meters in front of the island?
d_{x (front)}
= _____________
 How far in front
of the island would the airplane have to release the supply package
for it to land 30 meters in back of the island?
d_{x (back)}
= _____________
 Time_{1}
will be the time on your watch when you release the package and it lands
30 meters in front of the island. Time_{2} will be the
time on your watch when you release the package and it lands 30 meters
in back of the island. Calculate the amount of time you have
to successfully drop the package, namely, time_{1} time_{2}.
time_{1}
time_{2} = ________________
 What could be done
to decrease the package's speed when it reaches the ground?
