Aerodynamics
What makes things fly?
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  Facts
  • An aeroplane wing is designed so that the air flows over its upper surface faster than its lower surface.
  • The shape is called an air foil.
  • The air foil shape changes the way the air flows around the wing. It changes the pressure of the air around the wing.
  • The air above the wing has less pressure. The air below has more, which works as an upwards push under the wing - this push is called a "lift"
  • Aeroplane wings are aerodynamic.
 
  Did You Know?
  • Aeroplanes arenít the only things that can be aerodynamic - your familyís car, van or truck can be built aerodynamically.
  • Car manufacturers often put vehicles through a wind tunnel test with lots of ribbons stuck to the vehicle to see how aerodynamic they are.
 
  Experiments
  • Hold a strip of paper between your fingers and thumbs just in front of your mouth. You may have to change the position until you get it right. Gently blow over the top of the paper. The paper should rise up in front of you. Can you get it to work? Itís pretty tricky.
  • Test for wind resistance by feeling the friction of air bits
Find a place with plenty of room because youíre going to need to spin around or run around with the objects.
Hold a large piece of cardboard - the side of a cardboard box is fine - in one hand and start spinning around on the spot.
Hold a tennis ball in one hand and spin around on the spot.
Which one is harder to spin with? Which one seems to drag? That is because of wind resistance. You have to work harder to get the large flat surface to move through the air.
Test some other objects.
 
  Investigation
How aerodynamic are you?
You can try the same test I did on TV.
I used ribbon and sellotape, but you could use anything that will fly about in the wind.
Attach the ribbon or paper, or wool etc to your body then run around.
The parts of you that are aerodynamic will have the ribbon or paper or wool etc flying gently over them.
What happens to the ribbon that is not on an aerodynamic part?
 


 
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