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  • In this activity, students handcraft a glider from balsa wood. In the process, they learn about aerofoil wing shape, glider parts and terminology. They experiment with flight using variables of wind and nose weight.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • understand what an aerofoil is
    • use and understand terminology such as wing, tailplane, fuselage, aerofoil, fin
    • have some understanding of the parts of a plane and how they are needed for flight
    • have some understanding of the effects of weight and angle of attack on flight.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do.

    Download the Glider template (see link below).

    Related content

    Find out more about the Principles of flight. There is a lot to know about wings and flight! These articles provide more information: Wings and lift, Wing loading and Wing aspect ratio.

    Activity ideas

    These hands-on activities are an ideal way to further investigate flight principles:

      Published 16 September 2011 Referencing Hub articles
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