Weird Science: hoop airplane

Weird Science: hoop airplane

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Dr. V is back for another experiment. Today he shows us how to construct a hoop airplane using just a few basic items.

Dr. V Show: Hoop Airplane

July 13, 2010

Things you need:

  • Straight straw
  • Index cards or cardstock paper
  • Tape
  • Scissors

The experiment

Please perform this and all experiments under the supervision and with the assistance of an adult. Cut the index card or paper into three strips one inch wide by five inches long. Tape two of the pieces together to form a hoop, making sure to overlap them enough so that they keep a round shape. Then tape the last strip together to form a small hoop. Then tape the end of the straw to the inside of the hoop and repeat with the other hoop, so that when you're looking through the straw, both hoops are lined up. Now holding the straw in the middle with the small loop in front, throw your hoop airplane like you would a paper airplane. How does it fly? With some practice, you could make your hoop plane go farther than a regular paper plane.

How does it work?

This is a very strange looking plane. Did you think it would fly as far as it did? The two sizes of hoops help to keep the plane straight and balanced as it flies. The big hoop creates resistance, or what's called "drag." This help to keep the straw level. The smaller hoop guides your plane on a straight course. There are many different variations of this plane you could try. What happens when you add more hoops? What happens if you use a longer straw? Which version flies the farthest or the straightest? Why do you think is does?

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