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# Paper Airplanes

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## Difficulty

How does this affect the plane's flight? Does adding paper clips somewhere make its flight better or much worse?

Observations and results Did the original plane fly the farthest? Did the plane with increased drag fly a much shorter distance? As a paper plane moves through the air, the air pushes against the plane, slowing it down. This force is called drag. To think about drag, imagine you are in a moving car and you put your hand out the window. The force of the air pushing your hand back as you move forward is drag, also sometimes referred to as air resistance.

In this activity you increased how much drag acted on the paper plane by making a one-inch-high vertical strip on both wings.

For example, this is what happens when you're in a moving car with your hand out the window and you change its position from horizontal to vertical.

When your hand is held out vertically, it catches a greater amount of air and experiences a greater drag than when it is horizontal. You could probably feel this, as your hand would be more forcefully pushed back as the car moves forward.

This is what happened to the modified plane—it experienced a greater amount of drag, which pushed it back more than the original plane. This experiment has clearly demonstrated that altering how just one force acts on a paper plane can dramatically change how well it flies. More to explore Dynamics of Flight: Cleanup Recycle the paper plane when you are done with it.

Sign up for our email newsletter. But there is more than lack of thrust and poor wing design that gets a paper plane to come back to Earth. As a paper plane moves through the air, the air pushes against the plane, slowing it down. This force is called drag. To think about drag, imagine you are in a moving car and you put your hand outside of the window. The force of the air pushing your hand back as you move forward is drag.

Finally, the weight of the paper plane affects its flight and brings it to a landing. Weight is the force of Earth's gravity acting on the paper plane. Figure 1 below shows how all four of these forces, thrust, lift, drag, and weight, act upon a paper plane. Well, what do you think? Would you like to start experimenting with these forces?

In this aerodynamics science project, you will make a basic paper plane and then slightly alter its shape to increase how much drag is acting on it. You will investigate how far the basic paper plane flies and compare that to how far it flies when the drag is increased.

How will adding drag affect your plane's flight? You can answer this question with just a flick of your wrist. The following resource can be used to convert inches and feet to metric units i. Science Buddies materials are free for everyone to use, thanks to the support of our sponsors. What would you tell our sponsors about how Science Buddies helped you with your project? I cannot thank you more!

My science project went very well and I got lots of little kids interested in this field. Thank you so much for giving me this wonderful oppurtunity!

Compared to a typical science class, please tell us how much you learned doing this project. Try one of our science activities for quick, anytime science explorations. The perfect thing to liven up a rainy day, school vacation, or moment of boredom. You can find this page online at: You may print and distribute up to copies of this document annually, at no charge, for personal and classroom educational use.

When a paper plane is flying, the four forces of thrust, lift, drag, and weight are acting upon the plane, affecting how well its journey through the air goes. Or download our app "Guided Lessons by Education. Third Grade Science Projects. Click to find similar content by grade or subject. Subject Science Physical Science. Thank you for your input. Disclaimer and Safety Precautions Education.

In addition, your access to Education. Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.

Take the Paper Airplane Challenge! This paper airplane challenge is fun for both kids and Dads alike! Find out whether a longer airplane will fly farther or a wider paper airplane. Create puffy paper stars with just a few strips of paper. Ham it up by making your own paper pig for playtime, or fun decoration, with this paper project printable. Craft a paper cat in cute cube form with this printable paper project.

Make a paper rabbit to satisfy your child's arts and crafts time. This paper gingerbread house is a sweet holiday craft, without the sticky mess. This fun printable arts and crafts project allows your third grader to cut out paper beads and then string them to make a creative bracelet. Make a Paper Helicopter.

## Main Topics

Conclusion I successfully found the distance of each airplane by conducting the experiment and, my hypothesis was correct based on the results.

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The paper airplane experiment, as well as being great fun, is a chance for us to study something called 'The Laws of Aerodynamics'. This article is a part of the guide.