The Aerodynamic Forces of Flight Module

MSTE logo

Partnership Illinois

  Teacher Pages
  Student Pages
  Contact Information

Wing Design and Aspect Ratio

The purpose of this experiment is to explore different wing designs using applied math, and to give you an opportunity to collect and analyze data by testing the planes.




1. Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise and then unfold.
2. Fold one side in half.
3. Fold the same side in half again.
4. Fold this over the first crease you made and tape.
5. Crease the plane at the center point and fold down the wings as shown.

Try the following:

Make several planes of different sizes and make a table recording the wing size (length and width), the wing area, the wing aspect ratio, and how far the plane flew on several different tests.

Can you see any relationship between wing shape and flying distance? Write a brief paragraph to announce your results.

-Back to Day 2-3 Lesson-    -Back to Air Foil Experiment-

Wing Aspect Ratio

The aspect ratio is a measure of how square the wing is. It is calculated by dividing the wing length from tip to tip by the wing width. Generally, higher aspect ratios are more efficient during low speed flying.