Engineering and Manufacturing Modules

Engineering and Manufacturing Modules
Four Forces of Flight
These modules and exercises will help explain and teach fundamental engineering and manufacturing related skill sets. These exercises are best suited for middle school or early high school students.

Module 4: Forces of Flight - How does the airplane fly?

Learning Objectives

  1. Students will be able to define and explain the four forces of flight (lift, drag, thrust,
    weight)
  2. Students will analyze and evaluate the creation of lift using a paper airfoil experiment

Practical Uses
Gravity acts on the weight of the airplane in flight just as it does on people and objects on the ground. Lift overcomes gravity and allows the airplane to fly. Lift is created when the forward motion of the airplane causes air to flow over those wings (also called an airfoil). Several principles combine to explain how lift is created. These include Newton’s laws of motion and Bernoulli’s principle on the motion of fluids.

Student Worksheet
Teacher Module

Module 5: Weight and Gravity - Can an airplane be too heavy to fly?

Learning Objectives

  1. Students will be able to explain the effects of changes in weight and center of gravity on an aircraft in flight
  2. Students will determine the center of gravity of an object and analyze the effects of weight shifts

Practical Uses
Aircraft engineers set design limits on airplanes before they leave the factory, and these specifications tell the pilot how much weight the aircraft can handle - whether that weight is represented by people, bags, or fuel. Pilots carefully calculate the weight that they put on the airplane before they take off.

Student Worksheet
Teacher Module

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Information and image source: AOPA's "PATH to Aviation"