Lesson Title: Getting the Drop on Flight With the "X" Planes
This lesson uses the online NASA CONNECT™: Proportionality: The X-Plane Generation Educator Guide and the NASA aeronautics bookmark: Designing the 21st Century Aerospace Vehicle and Ring Wing Glider activity to help students learn how small-scale models developed with simple materials can result in new aircraft and future space launch vehicles.
• Discuss what makes a model a "scale model" and how engineers use models in research, design, development and testing.
• Construct a scale model aircraft using an approved pattern and discuss its advantages to full-scale testing.
• Use measurement tools to determine the linear dimensions of the model.
• Construct and fly a small, simple-scale model and determine how it could be controlled.
Professional Development Training Module for This Lesson
Lesson Activities and Sequence
- Constructing the X–33
Students create a paper model of the proposed X–33. Measurements of each surface and comparisons to the full-scale versions introduce students to scale model concepts.
Download the X-Plane Generation activity guide and video from Utah State University's "Teacherlink".
Select: NASA Video & Multimedia
NASA Connect Series 1999-2000 Season; Proportionality: The X-Plane Generation
Keywords: X-planes, glider, model
- Constructing and testing the Ring Wing Glider
Students create a paper model of the Ring Wing flying model. They test fly this vehicle and determine how they might be able to add control surfaces to adjust the flight pattern of this model.
Download the Designing the 21st Century Aerospace Vehicle bookmark from Utah State University’s "Teacherlink".
Select: Other NASA Print Resources
Select: NASA Bookmarks and Trading Cards
Keywords: ring wing, glider, model, testing
National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science and Technology
• Abilities of technological design.
• Understanding about science and technology.
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
• Science and technology in society.
History and Nature of Science
• History of Science.
ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
• Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
• Develop an understanding of the core concepts of technology.
Communication and Collaboration
• Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.
• Develop an understanding of engineering design.
Technology Operations and Concepts
• Understand and use technology systems.
• Troubleshoot systems and applications.