The Electric Cargo Airplane
An engaging way to introduce your students to the STEM
of aerodynamics. Student teams use the Engineering Design Process to produce an
authentic product, in this case a model airplane powered by a small DC motor.
The goal is to carry the maximum amount of cargo as the airplane flies around a
power pole which supplies electricity and mechanical support via a tether.
Teams of 2 students will use the engineering design process
- Identify the problem and the criteria and
- Sketch their design to identify span and chord of their
- Build a model or prototype , continuing to refine their design
- Test their solution with no cargo
- Test the solution with cargo
- Refine design to increase performance by modifying the design, designing an
entirely new wing, modifying the airplane assembly, changing parts
Students will then compete against each other in classroom setting to
further refine their solution. To further challenge students, there is an
optional extension activity to have students determine Coefficient of Lift of
the airplane when it flies with cargo.