Thursday, November 24, 2011

Aviation Anyone?

Today my kids prepared to for their first airplane ride to Minnesota! We are going to be spending the holiday with family and since it s their first time to fly I thought it would be cool to learn about aviation and do some arts and crafts projects to prepare them for what they might encounter on our plane ride.  The kids already think planes are awesome so I had them learn about the different types of planes and what they are commonly used for. For this they had to get a hold of their grandpa's, since one is retired air-force and the other retired army. They also enlisted the help of the WWW. They found tons of really great websites, a few of which I included here for anyone who might be interested. (types of planes, what they were used for, how they were made etc) (teaches kids how to make tons of different styles of airplanes) (jokes about planes, kids thought  they were funny) ( I loved this site, tells the hx of flying)
MY absolute favorite web site:

Waiting for our AA flight to MN

Just loaded the plane


How does an airplane fly?

Four forces push and pull an airplane in flight. The wings act as an airfoil and produce an upward force called lift. The opposite of lift is the force of gravity, which pulls the aircraft downward. A force called drag, caused by air resistance, slows an airplane down. To fight drag, an airplane uses a propeller or jet engine to produce a forward force called thrust.


We also studied the history of flight and some famous people that transformed the world of Aviation as we know it today:

Orville and Wilbur Wright: flew the first powered flight on December 17, 1903, in Kill Devil Hills (Kitty Hawk), North Carolina. It lasted 12 seconds and flew 37 meters !!

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●Charles Lindbergh: May 21, 1927 –  flew nonstop from New York to Paris.
The trip was about 1,000 miles and took him 33 and one half hours to complete.

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
Sir George Cayley who was an English Baronet came up with the concept of the modern airplane   between 1799 and 1809 At this time Cayley had abandoned the ornithopter tradition. He designed airplanes with rigid wings to provide lift, and separate propelling devices to provide trust. Cayley laid the foundations of aerodynamics through his published works. He showed both with models and full-size flight control by means of a single rudder-elevator unit mounted on an universal joint. In 1853 Cayley sent his coachmen on the first gliding flight in History on his third full-size machine

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● 
William Samuel Henson:1843 an English inventor by the name of published his patented design for an Aerial Steam Carriage. His design was a big step towards establishing the modern airplane. The design was a fixed wing monoplane with propellers, and fuselage, and wheeled landing gear, and flight control by means of rear elevator and rudder. The steam-powered models by Henson in 1847 were promising however unsuccessful.

 ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●
Otto Litlenthal:  a German aeronautical engineer who Samuel Pierpout had been working with for several years, made thousands of successful flights in hang gliders he designed. Those successful gliders Lilienthal had designed lacked a control system and a reliable method of powering the aircraft. He was killed in a accident in 1896.

Building cabin pressure for take off


Wow, is all I can say about the amount and level of math that people working in aviation have to have. The formulas are mind boggling! Here are a few examples:
Ex 1: Clairaut's formula:
This relates the latitude (lat) and true course (tc) along any great circle, namely: sin(tc)*cos(lat)=constant. That is, for any two points on the GC:
Since at the highest latitude (latmx) reached the tc must be 90/270, we also have:
where lat and tc are the latitude and true course at *any* point on the great circle.

 Ex 2: Unit conversions, etc.
 1 knot = 1.852000 km/hr*
 1 knot = 185200/109728 ft/sec* =1.687810 ft/sec
 1 knot = 1852000/1609344 mph* = 1.150779 mph
 1 mph  = 0.868976 knot
 1 mph  = 1.609344 km/hr*
 1 mph  = 1.466667 ft/sec
 1 km/hr= 0.539968 knot
 1 km/hr= 0.911344 ft/sec
 1 km/hr= 0.621371 mph
* = exact conversion factor
Ex 3: 
Natural questions are to seek the great circle distance between two specified points and true course at points along the route. The required spherical trigonometric formulae are greatly simplified if angles and distances are measured in the appropriate natural units, which are both radians! A radian, by definition, is the angle subtended by a circular arc of unit length and unit radius. Since the length of a complete circular arc of unit radius is 2*pi, the conversion is 360 degrees equals 2*pi radians, or:
angle_radians=(pi/180)*angle_degrees angle_degrees=(180/pi)*angle_radians Great circle distance can be likewise be expressed in radians by defining the distance to be the angle subtended by the arc at the center of the earth. Since by definition, one nautical mile subtends one minute (=1/60 degree) of arc, we have:
distance_radians=(pi/(180*60))*distance_nm distance_nm=((180*60)/pi)*distance_radians

Now  I hope you see what I am talking about....WAY beyond what I could explain to my 6th and Pre-k kids :) , although they did expect me to just know.

Reading about airline safety

Making sure they understand their job at the exit sign!
First in air drink of her life, Apple Juice!

Anonymous. How Do Planes Fly?. 1995-1999. NASA Observatories.
June 21, 2001. <>

Anonymous. Milnet: The Early History of Stealth.
June 16, 2001. <>

Anonymous. V1-Stealth Aircraft: Eagles Among Sparrows?
June 15 2001. <>

Bannerman, Quiana. History of Airplanes. 1998.
June 23, 2001. <>

Britt, Robert R. How Planes Fly. 1999-2000. Explorezone.
June 17, 2001. <> The Stealth Bomber.
July 5, 2001. <>
Crean, John. Wright Brothers History. 1996-1999. Mt. Carmel High School Instrumental Music Dept.
June 25, 2001. <>

Klemens, Susan M. Mission Invisible. 1998. Discovery Communications, Inc.
July 2, 2001. <>

Schultz, Alex. Alex’s Paper Airplanes. 2000.
June 17, 2001. <>
Drizzles first Dr. Pepper in the clouds! See how proud he is!

The kids insisted I show my in-flight photo as well :)

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