Facts: Paper Planes

person flying planeHave you ever made a paper plane before? If you have, you'll know how much fun they are and how there's lots to learn about different forces.

If you haven't made a paper plane before then don't worry, Squizzes has some awesome facts about some of the best paper planes and tips on how to make your very own!

yellow planeAccording to the Paper Aircraft Association, a paper airplane thrown in space will not fly; it will float in a straight line.

Scientists, engineers and students use paper airplanes to study aerodynamics. They actually get to make paper planes as part of their job! green plane

red planeThe largest paper aircraft, with a wing span of 18.21 m (59.74 ft), was made by students and employees in Germany on 28th September 2013.

The longest that a paper airplane has ever stayed up in the air was 29.2 seconds. blue plane

Toy paper planes only became popular during World War II. Since all materials and supplies were rationed, children made or received airplanes made from paper instead of metal, wood or plastic!

orange plane

As with real airplanes there are four main forces, called aerodynamic forces, that enable a paper plane to stay in the air.

lilac floating planes

 

1. When you throw the plane forward, this is called thrust.

2. Lift is a force that acts on the wings and helps the plane to move up. Big wings increase lift.

3. Gravity is the force that pulls the plane down. The right materials can create a lighter aircraft that stays up for longer.

4. Drag (caused by the tail of the plane) is the opposite of thrust and it makes the plane slow down.

rainbow paper planesTIPS:

There are other factors that influence how well a paper airplane flies. The type of paper used can affect its weight and the amount of friction that exists.

How the plane is designed can also vary tremendously. The design of the wings, body, nose and tail can all drastically change the way the plane flies. It is a fun experiment to try several variations to see which design achieves the best flight.

Try different shapes and sizes and experiment with different types of paper and card!

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