The Science Fair


Aerodynamics is key to making a paper airplane fly. The paper must cut through the air to travel a great distance. If a plane is not folded correctly it will be like throwing a normal piece of paper. That is why planes need to be aerodynamic. There are four forces involved in aerodynamics, lift, thrust, and drag.

Lift keeps the plane airborne and is produced by the movement of airfoil. (Airfoil is any surface that is designed to aid in controlling an aircraft by using air.) Three theories best describe Lift, Newtons Third Law, the Coanda Effect, and Bernoulli’s Principle. In Newtons Third Law says “the mutual forces of action and reaction between two bodies are equal, opposite and collinear. The Coanda Effect is the tendency of a moving fluid (air) to attach itself to a surface (an airplane) and flow with it. The other the theory of lift is Bernoulli’s Principle. This principle states that “as the speed of a moving fluid increases, the pressure within the fluid decreases.

. Thrust is the force that propels the plane forward. The force starts when air is pushed in the direction opposite to the flight. and is explained in Newtons Second Law of Motion which states that “the acceleration of a body is parallel and directly proportional to the net force. While thrust is created by a spinning propeller or a jet engine on a normal plane, paper airplanes have neither. Instead they use the movement of your hand. The hand movement can only a certain amount of time depending on how hard the plane is thrown This is the reason paper planes cannot fly as far and as long as regular airplanes.

Gravity is probably the most know force involved in aerodynamics. Gravity pulls the paper airplane down, the opposite of lift. In order for a plane to fly far it must have a light weight. ON a large plane there is a jet that keeps it up while on a paper airplane there is nothing and it falls down after a period of time.

The last force involved in aerodynamics is called Drag. Any force that resists any forward motion through a fluid (air) that may be caused during a flight is called drag. Drag is increased with area and resists any forward motion. Without a fluid there is no drag. Drag is a force and has magnitude and a direction. To get the paper airplane to go anywhere there needs to limited amount of drag drag.

The purpose of this experiment is to learn more about aerodynamics and flight. It is hypothesized that the more a paper airplane is wind resistant the farther it will fly. The objective of experimenting on paper airplanes is to help improve modern flight and reduces crashes.


  • Paper (best if thin and not crumbled)
  • The book “Paper Airplanes” by Phil Joho
  • A wide open space preferably inside


  1. Gather all supplies
  2. Than make the “Speed Demon” from the book
  3. Go to open space, preferably indoors
  4. Put thumb on one side and index finger on the other side
  5. Now throw forward like a dart
  6. Release when arm is at a complete right angle
  7. Now sit back and watch it fly
  8. Once the plane lands measure the distance flown in meters and record it
  9. Repeat steps 4-8 for a total of ten repeated trials
  10. Repeat steps 1-9 to build “the Floater”, “The Classic”, “ The Eagle” and “ Ye Old Faithful”

Results and Conclusion

The effect of different types of paper on the distance flown is summarized in the table on the previous page. “The Floater” had the best average of 11.963 meters. After that was the “Speed Demon” that lives up to its name with an average of 10.37 meters followed closely by the “Classic” that got an average of 10.325 meters. The came the “Eagle” with 8.155 meters and in last was “Ye Old Faithful” with 5.862 meters. In this experiment there was a range of 6.101 which is larger than expected. This data did support the hypotheses because when the lightness and aerodynamic increased the distance the planes flew increased.

The purpose of this experiment was to determine the effect of different types of planes on the distance flown. The lighter and more aerodynamic paper planes flew farther than the ones that were less aerodynamic. The data supported the research shown on lift, drag, thrust, and gravity because the planes that flew the farthest controlled most of these forces. These findings agree with Newtons Three Laws of Motion, Bernoulli’s Principle, and the Coanda Effect. The aerodynamic planes could slice through the air while the other ones struggled to push through. Additional experiments could be conducted to determine how other planes in the book will fly. This experiment could be improved by flying the paper airplanes in a larger place and by using a machine to throw the planes so that they are released at the exact same spot.

Elert, Glenn. “Aerodynamic Drag.” (2009). Web. November 26, 2011

Joho, Phil. Paper Airplanes: Step by Step Instructions. Dingley, Victoria: Hinkler, 2001.


“The Basic Forces of Thrust, Drag and Lift.” (2007). Web. November 25, 2011


The day the earth shakes,
The day the seas turn
The day the storms blow
The day the fires burn

The day the city’s fall
The day the buildings tumble
The day the roads crack
The day the bridges  crumble

The Vampire’s Revenge

A crack of lightning flashed and was followed by a loud boom of thunder.  Our van pulled into the driveway of our new house.  As we got out, I questioned why we bought the house in the first place. It was a real fixer-upper. Most of shingles on the roof were missing and the windows were broken. It was dark out but every once in a while lightning struck, revealing more stuff about the house.  I’m going to live here I thought. No way.  It was bad enough that we moved but now I have to sleep in this dump. Worst of all, nobody lived any were near us. “Freddy come and help your dad take out the boxes”.  I barely heard my mom above the storm.  I wanted to be inside and reading my favorite book, The Vampire’s Revenge. It’s a great book about a guy who gets his blood sucked out by a vampire and tries to stop it with different things that are said to stop a vampire, but in the end all fail. My mom thinks that the book is terrible and thinks I should read books like Tom Sawyer and all that other junk.

My thoughts drifted off when I heard a loud howl that no human could ever make.  “What was that?” I murmured. My dad would probably know.  He studies animals for a living. We moved here because of him. He got a once in a lifetime opportunity to study the wild life in the woods around the house. “Fred, please come here.  Your dad really needs your help,” my mom pleaded. I walked over and started helping my dad.

After spending the whole day unpacking boxes I was wiped out. I fell asleep before I made it to my bed. I was woken late in the night by a loud crash. I ran over to the window to see what had happened. As I looked out through the window, I could see a huge dark object in the dim light.. I ran to get my mother, but came to sudden halt  That’s when I noticed a door that had not been there before.  It was nothing spectacular. It simply had not been there before. I was sure of it because I had seen a really cool picture of a vampire sucking the blood out some British guy right where the door was now.

Any way, I felt the sudden urge to open the door. Inside were dark stairs. Cobwebs littered the ceiling. Each step I took made the stairs groan like a mummy waking up after sleeping for a thousand years. Finally I reached the bottom. My flashlight reveled a tenebrous room full of boxes, and crates of all sizes. In the middle of the room was what looked like a coffin. I walked over to get a better look.  It was definitely a coffin. It had that weird shape, and gold hinges. Yup, it’s definitely a coffin I thought.

Creakkkk, the coffin slowly opened. I jumped back in horror. A pale white hand reached out of the coffin, pushing the top off. Inside was a ghastly man. He wore black pants, black shoes, a white shirt and a cape over it.  His bones creaked as he got up. His teeth caught the gleam of my flashlight revealing two sets of fangs. “”Hello, he said to me in a low creepy voice. I stepped back. “You look so tasty,” he said in the same voice. Then he lunged. I sidestepped and ran

towards the door. I ran up the steps so fast they didn’t’ have time to groan. I twisted the doorknob but got stopped short because the door was locked. “Help!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. No answer. Suddenly I heard the groans of the stairs as the man slowly walked up .He had a confident smile as if he had just won a gold medal. “Help!” I wailed. “Somebody please help me!” Again there was no reply.  He walked closer. Closer and closer he walked until he was right next to me. “What do you want?” I sputtered. “Your blood!” he answered back.  And with one swift movement he had it.