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Research Topic: An investigation of the wing area of glider affecting the flight distance

ISS S2-08 Group A
Leader: Issac Jose Ignatius (13)
Team Members: Anurag Choudary Putti (8), Emmanuel Kasman (12), Low Kai Ferng (17)


A glider is a light engineless aircraft designed to glide after being towed aloft or launched from a catapult. It is made of light and strong materials, and flies along with the direction of the wind. There are many different types of gliders. While an airplane's flight time is only limited by its supply of fuel, a glider's flight duration and trajectory depends entirely on the behavior of air currents. Typically, a sailplane starting at an altitude of 3,000 feet can remain aloft for 20 to 25 minutes, assuming that no rising air currents extend its flight. A skillful glider pilot, however, can extend the journey by flying beneath new or mature cumulonimbus clouds, over open fields, over urban areas or along the ridges of mountains and hills. All of these conditions can produce rising currents of air, which improve lift. Gliders are aircrafts that do not rely on engines. Gliders are principally used for the air sports of gliding, hang gliding and paragliding but are also used for recovering spacecraft. Perhaps the simplest and most familiar types are a paper plane and a balsa wood plane. Some gliders have engines to extend their flight duration and others to take off. In this experiment, the wing area of the glider is changed so as to find out whether the relationship between the wing area of the glider and the distance travelled by the glider. A launcher was built to launch the 5 gliders. Then, the distance travelled by the glider is measured and the raw data is put in a table. After that, a line graph is made from our data. A conclusion is drawn that wing area was just only one of the factors affecting the distance travelled by the glider, as there were irregular patterns in the graph. So, overall, if there was more time, we would like to investigate on other factors affecting the aerodynamics of the glider so that the efficiency of the gliders can be improved.

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