Activity Parts of an Aircraft

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1 Activity Parts of an Aircraft Introduction The science of aeronautics really began to evolve in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Philosophers and early scientists began to look closely at physical phenomena such as gravity and motion. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the classification and definition of forces involved with flight were developed. We know them today as lift, drag, weight and thrust. Scientists began to understand how they worked together to enable an object heavier than air to fly. Once these concepts were well understood, it was only a matter of time before humans figured out how to not only fly, but to control their flight. Balloons, which by this time were old news, enabled people to fly but aeronauts remained at the mercy of the wind to determine where they went. With the invention of the airplane people could fly when, how and where they wanted. Another frontier had been conquered. Within a few short years, airplane designers refined the shape of wings and overall construction to improve airplane performance and safety. Further improvements in airplane design have allowed flight to become accessible to everyone. Have you ever been on an airplane and watch the wing shape change during take-off and landing? In this project, you will learn the parts of the airplane and wing, and use the information to modify your airfoil to simulate the configuration of airplane wings during takeoff and landings. Equipment GTT notebook Pencil Airfoil from previous activity Chipboard (lightweight cardboard) or cardstock Masking tape. Follow along with the Parts of an Aircraft presentation and answer the following questions. 1. What is the difference between aircrafts and airplanes? GTT Unit 4 Lesson 2 Activity Parts of an Aircraft Page 1

2 2. Aircrafts are built for specific purposes. List four possible purposes. 3. What are the five basic parts of an airplane? 4. What part of the airplane produces lift? 5. What keeps the airplane from rolling unexpectedly? 6. Discuss each of the four types of wings. 7. Label the parts of the wing to the right. 8. What is the purpose of the flaps? GTT Unit 4 Lesson 2 Activity Parts of an Aircraft Page 2

3 9. What is the purpose of the slat? 10. What is the purpose of the spoiler? 11. What is the more common name of the empennage? 12. What are the two parts of the empennage, and what do they do? 13. What is another name for the undercarriage, and what are its parts? 14. What are the five basic types of propulsion systems? 15. Label the three axes of rotation on an airplane and describe the system that controls them. Experimenting with Airfoil Configurations GTT Unit 4 Lesson 2 Activity Parts of an Aircraft Page 3

4 1. Cut a piece of chipboard approximately 1 inch wide, and the length of your airfoil from the previous activity. 2. Use masking tape to attach one of the long sides of the chipboard to the top of the trailing edge. Curve the chipboard down. 3. Place your modified airfoil in the wing tester, and determine the amount of lift at low speed, medium speed, and high speed. Record your results below. Low speed Medium Speed High Speed 4. Compare the amount of lift at each speed to the results you obtained using the unmodified airfoil, filling in the chart below. Low Speed Medium Speed High Speed Airfoil (results from Activity 4.2.6) Airfoil with flaps % increase or decrease in amount of lift 5. In this curved down configuration, the chipboard most closely resembled which part on a wing? Explain how you arrived at your answer. 6. Now bend the chipboard up so that it is almost vertical, and retest the lift at low, medium and high speeds. Record your results below. GTT Unit 4 Lesson 2 Activity Parts of an Aircraft Page 4

5 Low speed Medium Speed High Speed 7. In this upward configuration, the chipboard most closely resembled which part on a wing. Explain how you arrived at your answer. Conclusion 1. Explain why you see some of the flaps on wings during takeoffs, and why you see more of the flaps on landing. 2. Why do you only see the spoilers during landings? GTT Unit 4 Lesson 2 Activity Parts of an Aircraft Page 5

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