Materials: RC plane
For this experiment I used a 2 channels RC plane. You don’t have to buy an expensive one because and I would recommend the StarScream micro flyer made by InterToy.It is easy to fly and very resistant. Also, if you combine gliding with powered flight the battery will last very long.
Observe the design of this plane.Discuss the difference between the delta wing and the standard wings. Notice the intake on the bottom and it’s role in the flight stability.
Talk about the specifics of flying a plane :three coordinates vs. two for terrestrial vehicles.
Air is a fluid and the plane has to use the engines to create thrust. Drag is caused by air resistance to the airplane and opposes thrust. Lift is created by air flowing over the wings and opposes the gravity force that pulls down the plane.
An airplane in flight changes direction by movement around one or more of its three axes of rotation: lateral axis, vertical axis, and longitudinal axis. These axes are imaginary lines that run perpendicularly to each other through the exact weight center of the airplane.
Watch the following video produced by Cessna Ground school for a nice description of the axis of an airplane and the controls used to move the airplane around these axes.
The plane used in this experiment has only two controls:propellers (left and right,along the longitudinal axis) and the throttle (up and down,along the lateral axis).The trim is used to center the plane during the flight.Due to it`s design, the plane will stabilize automatically when the power is reduced.
Observe how the wind can influence the flight.
Find a large open space, charge the plane and have fun!
Sometimes,experiments do not go as planed.That's exactly what happened when I was recording George, flying his RC Jet plane.The plane is very light but the impact was pretty strong.It almost knocked me down.That was a good example of the relation between mass and speed! Watch the video and you will understand why...