Building a Paper Airplane for a 9ft Drop and 8m Flight

In summary, the conversation is about building a paper airplane that can survive a 9 foot drop and then fly forwards 8 meters. The person asking the question is seeking advice from those familiar with paper airplane building and mentions a book published by Scientific American that contains specialized designs for paper airplanes.
  • #1
This is not homework, I'm just curious. Perhaps it belongs in the Engineering Forum, but the last one of these I posted there just got left in the dust.

I have a rather specific question to ask those of you who are familiar with paper airplane building/structure/dynamics. How would I go about building a paper airplane that could A) survive a 9 foot drop in which it starts literally straight down (nose to the ground) and B) could, after surviving the intitial fall, fly forwards ~ 8 meters.

All feedback appreciated, this will be quite interesting. Thank you for helping me, as I am not entirely familiar with this sort of dynamics.

Thanks,

Oscar
 
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  • #2
In Fourth Grade, my paper gliders could go diagonally across the classroom. Many years ago, Scientific American published a book:
The Great International Paper Airplane Book (Hardcover)
by Jerry Mander (Author), George Dippel (Author), Howard Gossage (Author)

There are many specialized designs, including longest flight path, longest time in flight, etc. Amazon.com lists this book.
 
  • #3
Bob S said:
In Fourth Grade, my paper gliders could go diagonally across the classroom. Many years ago, Scientific American published a book:
The Great International Paper Airplane Book (Hardcover)
by Jerry Mander (Author), George Dippel (Author), Howard Gossage (Author)

There are many specialized designs, including longest flight path, longest time in flight, etc. Amazon.com lists this book.

Thank you very much! I'll really have to check this out
 

What materials do I need to build a paper airplane that can withstand a 9ft drop and fly 8m?

To build a paper airplane that can survive a 9ft drop and fly 8m, you will need a sheet of sturdy paper (such as cardstock or construction paper), scissors, and tape or glue for reinforcement.

How should I fold the paper to create the most aerodynamic shape for my paper airplane?

There are various folding techniques that can be used to create an aerodynamic paper airplane. One popular method is to fold the paper in half lengthwise, then fold down the top corners to meet at the center crease. Finally, fold the wings down to create a triangular shape.

What factors can affect the flight of my paper airplane?

The design of your paper airplane, the weight distribution, and the air currents in the environment can all affect the flight of your paper airplane. It's important to make sure the wings are balanced and there are no creases or folds that could cause drag.

How can I test and improve the flight of my paper airplane?

You can test the flight of your paper airplane by dropping it from a height of 9ft and measuring the distance it travels. If it does not fly as far as desired, you can make adjustments to the design, weight distribution, or wing shape. Additionally, testing in different environments can help you optimize your paper airplane's flight.

Is there a scientific explanation for how a paper airplane can fly?

Yes, there are several scientific principles at play in the flight of a paper airplane. These include lift, drag, and gravity. As the paper airplane moves through the air, the shape of its wings creates lift, while air resistance (drag) helps slow it down. Gravity also plays a role in bringing the paper airplane back down to the ground.

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