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'O-wing' Glider Experiment

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Alice Zhang

on 28 August 2013

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Transcript of 'O-wing' Glider Experiment


Glider Experiment

Background Research
The O-wing glider is also commonly known as a ring or hoop glider. Many designs and experiments of the glider are performed to allow us to understand how things are able to fly. For these gliders to float in the air, it is important to balance the forces of gravity, drag, lift and thrust. These experiments convey the ideas of testing different variables which may affect the flight performance.
Planning Log
22nd August 5pm-6pm - Background Research
- Choosing an Aim
- Dependent and Independent variables were identified
- The dependent variable is the flight time which is measured by a timer and the independent variable is the amount of wings used on the glider.
23rd August 3pm - Gathering Materials and making sure the materials are the same and controlled
25th August 12pm-2pm - Doing the Experiment and keeping it controlled and constant
- Making sure that the method was valid and the experiment was reliable as it was done multiple times
- Recording and taking photos
- Identifying the risk assessment
Risk Assessment
Independent Variable - The independent variable is the variable that is changed. The independent variable in this experiment is the number of wings that is changed on the glider.
Dependent Variable - The dependent variable is the variable being tested in the experiment. The dependent variable in this experiment is the flight time which is being measured by a timer
Controlled Variables - It is important to ensure that the experiment is controlled so it provides an accurate result for the experiment. Controlled variables include:
- keeping the materials the same throughout each test
- Same and constant environment as wind may affect the results
- using the same recording instrument
- same amount of strength applied to thrust the glider
Hypothesis : The more wings added would make the glider stay longer in air.
Aim: To test how many wings can affect the flight time.
The "O-wing" glider experiment would be useful as it could be applied to a real situation. Gliders are aircraft with no engines and they fly depending on the dynamic reaction of the air against the lifting surfaces. These experiments could give us the best solution of making a glider that could withstand the longest flight time. There are also aircraft with wings that are 'O-shaped' and this experiment gives us an idea of how these aircraft work.
It is important that the method of this experiment is valid as it will provide accurate and correct information. It is necessary to keep the experiment constant except for one variable which is changing. A valid experiment would be a test that is done on a basis of some factual information that then creates a good statistical analysis.

The "O-wing" Experiment. 2004. http://www.abc.net.au/science/surfingscientist/pdf/lesson_plan06.pdf (Accessed 22nd and 25th Aug) How glider stay in the air.
http://www.mansfieldct.org/Schools/MMS/staff/hand/flightglider.htm (Accessed 22nd)
How gliders work. 2013 http://science.howstuffworks.com/transport/flight/modern/glider3.htm (Accessed 22nd)
What is the difference between Independent and Dependent Variables? http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryterminology/a/What-Is-The-Difference-Between-Independent-And-Dependent-Variables.htm (Accessed 22nd)
The reliability of an experiment ensures that the results are trustworthy and equitable. To assure that the information given by the testing is factual, it is vital that the same test should be done multiple times. Three tests were carried out in this experiment and this proves that the results were detailed, solid and definite. A mean was then calculated through the multiple testings which concludes the final and authentic result.
7. Step 6 was then repeated through the testings of the 3 and 4 pairs of hoops.
In conclusion, the results that were discovered in this experiment clearly showed that the increase amount of wings would result in a lower duration of flight time. The hypothesis stated that the increase amount of wings would provide a longer duration of flight time. The experiment has proved the hypothesis wrong as the results showed the opposite. The result may have been different because the increase number of the wings may have caused the glider to become heavier. The air resistance may have acted well upon the surface area of the two hoops as it was able to catch the air and lift. The air resistance enabled the glider with two wings to fall slower than other gliders with more wings.
Some of the difficulties that were found during the conduction of this experiment include trying to thrust the glider with equal strength at different testings and attempting to record and thrust the glider at the same time. These difficulties were overcome by having another person help record the flight time as the glider was thrown. Some improvements which could be made would be to use stronger materials as it could have resulted in a better flight performance.
1. Lines were ruled onto thick paper by 27cm x 3cm and 18cm x 3cm.
2. They were then cut into strips of paper and the longer and shorter strips were separated.
3. The ends of the strips were then taped together into an "O" shape by sticky tape. This was applied both to the longer and shorter strips.
4. Two straws were then connected and secured together by sticky tape. The larger hoop was then secured onto an end and the smaller hoop was then stuck onto the other end.
5. A stopwatch was then used to record the flight time of the glider as it was thrust over the shoulder. For each glider that was thrown, it was tested three time to ensure its accuracy. The mean was then calculated.
6. Another smaller hoop was applied to the other smaller hoop at the end of the straw and another larger hoop was applied to the other larger hoop at the other end. This was secured by sticky tape. The results were then recorded with the same method as step 5.
Alice Zhang
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