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Flight Testing Newton’s Laws

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F-18 jet fighter in flight in California.


Educators, Students

Grade Levels

Grades 9-12


Mathematics, Physical Science, Algebra, Calculus, Trigonometry, Flight and Aeronautics, Gravity, Physics


Lesson Plans / Activities, Other Multimedia

“Flight Testing Newton’s Laws” uses aircraft to stimulate students’ interest in the physical sciences and mathematics during the course of ten lessons with corresponding videos. The main emphasis lies in showing how Newton’s three Laws of Motion and the four forces of flight apply to flight testing an aircraft. Students solve problems involving kinematics and dynamics. Complementary areas of trigonometry, vector addition, weight and balance, and resolution of forces are employed. The collection includes an educator’s guide that is presented in the format of a flight instructor’s manual to help guide teachers and students through each lesson.
Flight Testing Newton’s Laws Instructor’s Flight Manual [3MB PDF file]
Flight Testing Newton’s Laws Student’s Flight Manual [3MB PDF file]
Videos and Video Clips in This Series:
Introduction to Newton’s Three Laws: Lesson 1
The Law of Inertia: Newton’s First Law (video clip)
Force Equals Mass Times Acceleration: Newton’s Second Law (video clip)
The Law of Action and Reaction: Newton’s Third Law (video clip)
Weight and Balance, Lesson 2
Lift and Rate of Change of Momentum, Lesson 3
Drag, Lesson 4
Thrust, Lesson 5
Take Off, Lesson 6
Climb and Descent, Lesson 7
Cruise, Lesson 8
The Landing, Lesson 9
The Landing: Approach (video clip)
The Landing: Flare (video clip)
The Landing: Rollout (video clip)
The Landing: Summary (video clip)