engineering question #1152



collin, a 13 year old male from fort walton beach, fl asks on January 3, 2003,

Q:

I just recently did an experiment using paper airplanes with different wing types (swept back at different angles and straight). I found out that the ones with the swept back wings had more velocity. Can you explain why?

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the answer

Barry Shell answered on January 6, 2003, A:

My best guess would be that the swept back wing offers less wind resistance. The centre of gravity (i.e. more weight at the front of a pointy plane) might also be a factor. There are many websites with excellent information about paper airplanes. A good starting point is Workman Publishing paper airplane page where you can learn how to fold the world record holder Ken Blackburn's plane.

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