Extreme Science: Radical Rick shows you how to make loop planes - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

EXTREME SCIENCE

Extreme Science: Radical Rick shows you how to make loop planes

Posted: Updated:
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Radical Rick shows Allison Flicker how to make a 'loop plane' on Extreme Science.

What you will need:

  • Drinking straw
  • Sheet of paper
  • Scissors
  • Cellophane tape
  • Adult supervision

Procedure:

1) Cut your paper into strips as shown:


You should end up with two strips of paper

(a) 1 ¼” X 11”

(b) ¾” X 7 ¼”

2) Lay the two strips of paper (parallel to each other) on your table as shown. Place the straw on top of the paper making sure that the end of the straw is even with the edge of the paper strips. Place a piece of tape over the straw to attach it to each strip of paper


3) Bring the ends of each paper strip up so that they form a loop. Tape the ends together as shown:


4) To fly your loop plane, you will need to hold on to the straw making sure that the loops are up (above the straw) and that the smaller loop is in the front. You don't have to throw it real hard, just as you would with a normal paper airplane.

What is going on?

There are four basic forces that affect flight:

1. Thrust

2. Drag

3. Lift

4. Gravity

When you grasp the airplane and throw it forward, you are providing thrust. Thrust is the force that makes your airplane move forward through the air. As your airplane moves forward, the air rushing through the loops is creating lift. Gravity is the force that is pulling your airplane towards the ground and the more lift you have, the farther your airplane will travel. You need to make sure that the smallest loop is toward the front when you throw your airplane due to drag. As both loops cut through the air, the air molecules are causing drag on each of the loops. Drag slows down your plane. Since the bigger loop has more surface area, it will create more drag. If you throw your airplane backwards, with the larger loop in front, it will actually turn itself around due to the amount of drag on the larger loop compared to the amount of drag on the smaller loop.

Try this:

Center of gravity also plays a huge role in flight. If the center of gravity is not in the appropriate spot, your plane will not fly. If the center of gravity is too far back, the plane will have too much lift and stall. If the center of gravity is too far forward, the plane will not have enough lift and will do a nosedive. Try changing the center of gravity on your plane by adding paperclips to one of the loops. How did this affect the flight?

Another thing you can try with this plane is to connect two or more straws together (end to end) to make a longer plane. Now you can add more loops. Make sure that the loops start out small and progressively get bigger as you add them toward the back of your plane. See how many loops you can get on your plane. Does it fly better with more loops or worse? Have fun!

Radical Rick
Extreme Science
www.ExtremeScienceFun.com
509-892-7621


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