In this activity, students use an online interactive or paper-based graphic organiser to consider how wing size and shape influences the specific flight capabilities of both birds and aircraft.
The activity helps students practise the science capability ‘Interpret representations’.
By the end of this activity, students should be able to:
- identify and discuss some flight capabilities shared by birds and aircraft, such as soaring and hovering
- use wing size and shape to match a bird species and an aircraft to a specific flight capability
- consider how designers have observed and adapted birds’ wing shapes for use in modern flight technologies.
Download the Word file (see link below).
The articles Wing loading and Wing aspect ratio explain how the shapes and sizes of birds and planes determine how they might perform and what they might be capable of doing.
The activity Birds and planes extends some of the science ideas introduced in this activity and provides opportunities to calculate wing loading.