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Gil's Heros

Effects of different airfoil configurations on the distance a fixed-wing aircraft flies.

Physics and Astronomy
Adriana Blair

Elyse Wexler

In this project, we aimed to investigate the effects of changing wing overall shape on the performance of a wooden glider. These were tested to find the best wing shape that went the farthest without an engine. Previous research has not tested the broad wing design instead of focusing on one small part of the wing. This experiment used wooden gliders, whose wings were cut to test which of the changes to winglet tip, trailing edge, wing positioning, and wing shape created the largest impact of the distance a glider can fly. By altering the wing positioning, we analyzed how the changes influenced lift, drag, and accuracy. The results showed that these changes didn’t improve the distance, however accuracy was the largest changing force, which provided valuable insights into how each change contributed to the lift and drag forces on each prototype. With more research into each specific change, planes can be made to have the most efficient wing, which will limit the amount of fuel that must be used. This experiment can produce endless experiments because of the broad range of possible wing shapes.

Project presentation

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Research paper

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