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The O-Wing Experiment

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Progya Priya

on 28 August 2013

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Transcript of The O-Wing Experiment

The O-Wing Experiment
By: Progya Priya 9ScienceGreen
Background Research.

The O-Wing is a small contraption made up of a 25cm straw and two "O" shaped wings (hence its name). These O-wings are made from thin cardboard and taped onto the ends of the straw. Similar to the paper plane, the O-wing is a glider. When designing the O-wing glider, there are many factors to consider to ensure safety. These include being careful with scissors when cutting the O-wings,
Like the paper plane, the O-Wing glider is a gliding contraption. It is made from a 25cm straw with cardboard 'O' shaped wings (hence its name.) Cardboard strips are curled and taped at the ends to form the wing. These are then taped to the ends of the straw.
There are many factors affecting O-Wing glider's performance. These include:
Force of throw/ Initial velocity of launch
Height of release
Angle to the ground at release
Angle of wings to the ground
Wing size
Fuselage length / Distance of wings from each other
The O-Wing Glider
Day 1) Background research:
What an O-Wing is
How it is made
What factors affect the gliders performance
Safety factors
Day 2) Gathering the needed equipment and constructing the O-Wing:
Measuring Tape
Day 3) Performing the experiment:
Consideration of the experiment's location
Take photos and videos
Day 4) Presenting results and uploading to moodle:
Creating a Prezi
In this experiment, the O-wing's wing ratio is the independent variable. The smaller wing was changed after each test to determine the best wing ratio for gliding.
The measure of the total trajectory of flight and the flight duration are the dependent variables.
ndependent and
eliability and
To ensure reliable results for this experiment, some of the variables had to be controlled and these included the following:

1. Initial conditions of flight
The initial velocity of launch as well as height were both kept constant for this experiment to remove its effect on the o-wings performance
2. Wing distance/fuselage
The same length of straw was used and wings were attached to the ends on each trial to maintain the same fuselage (wings separation distance).
3. O-Wing construction materials
All Wings were made out of the same cardboard material and the same piece of straw was used for each trial.
4. Width of the wing
The wings were each of width 3.5cm to remove any effect this can have on the gliders performance.
5. Environment
The experiment was conducted inside a closed room to prevent the wind from effecting the experiment.
6) Repetition
Each set of the experiment was trialled 5 times and then averaged to ensure reliability.
There are many safety factors to consider when designing the the glider experiment to ensure safety. This includes:
Choosing a safe place to do the testing
Ensuring that the tests do not endanger anyone
Being careful with the scissors
Avoid paper cuts
The aim of this experiment is to determine the effect of the ratio of two of the O-ring’s wing sizes on its performance. To do this, several O-wing gliders with different wing sizes are to be created and consequently launched. Performance of each glider is to be evaluated by measuring its total flight time prior to crashing on the ground.
For a constant rate of air flow wind velocity increases as the cross sectional area decreases. It can therefore be hypothesized that an o-wing with smaller wing at the front, will perform better than one of equal wing size. However, if the front wing's diameter is made very small, it may restrict the flow of air and hence, restrict o-wing flight. Therefore, there is probably an optimal ratio between the front and back wing of the glider that will enable it to stay in the air longer and cover longer distances.
I intended to make:
2 x 25
cm. diameter wing
1 x 20
cm. diameter wing
1 x 15
cm. diameter wing
1 x 10
cm. diameter wing
1) The cardboard was divided into strips of the desired lengths. Each drawn line was drawn by a ruler and had a spacing of 3.5cm.
2) The strips were curled and taped at the ends to form an 'O' shape.
3) These wings were taped to the ends of the straw, one on each end.
4) The gliders were thrown at the same height, the same number of times and in the same way. They were held in the middle of the straw and then thrown horizontally and gently.
5) The time of flight was recorded.
6) Steps 3-5 were repeated with each new smaller wing.
7) Results were recorded and graphed.
onstructing the
cm Wing
cm Wing
cm Wing
cm Wing
ideo of the

Therefore it can be concluded that an optimal front and back wing size ratio will enable the o-wing glider to perform best.
The O-wing glider constructed is a very simplified version of gliders in use by society today. Gliders have found a variety of applications including air sports such as hand-gliding and paragliding, recovering spacecraft and meteorological studies. It is therefore important to design gliders to ensure aerodynamic efficiency. From this experiment we have found that there is an ideal wing size ratio that ensures superior glider performance. Glider design engineers must determine the optimum wing size ratio and many other glider properties to ensure the safe appropriate flight of the glider.

For this experiment we changed the ratio of the wing sizes to see its effect on glider performance.
Based on the results on this experiment, it can be seen that an o-wing size of 15cm at the front and 25cm at the back has the greatest gliding time. A general pattern was also found that an O-wing with a smaller front wing diameter performs better than an o-wing of equal wing size.
This result is to be expected from theory because smaller cross sectional areas provide higher velocity which gives more thrust to the glider therefore, enabling it to cover longer distances and stay in the air longer. As such the gliders with smaller front wing diameters perform significantly better than that with equal wing size.
Each set of the experiment was trialled 5 times. This makes the experiment reliable. The results found were also pretty consistent. None of the values were found to be an outlier. The results were also precise none of them deviating away from the others. However, in terms of accuracy, there were a few difficulties experienced during execution of the experiment which might have resulted to some errors.
Keeping a consistent force of throw for each O-Wing proved to be difficult. This therefore might have effected the results in that some of the gliders has higher initial velocity than others. Also, measuring the time of flight was hard because the o-wing crashed into the surroundings most of the time. In addition to this, some wind was present in the room which might have effected the o-wings flight in terms of drag. Finally, some instrumental error might have been present when measuring distances.
eflection and

[1] "February 2013: Hoop Glider Engineering | Discovery Center." Museum of Science, Boston | Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Aug. 2013. <http://legacy.mos.org/discoverycenter/aotm/2013/02>.
[2]Jaysonn. "The "O-Wing" Experiment, a paper plane revamped.." Jaysonn on HubPages. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Aug. 2013. <http://jaysonn.hubpages.com/hub/The-O-Wing-Experiment>.
[3]Meerman, Ruben. "The “O-Wing” Experiment." ABC Science Online . N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Aug. 2013. <http://www.abc.net.au/science/surfingscientist/pdf/lesson_plan06.pdf>.
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