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 Information for Teachers
 NASA - Future Flight Design

Paper Airplane Activity
Designing an Aircraft Using the Five Steps of the Engineering Design Process

Future Flight Design features a classroom exercise where students examine how shape and materials affect an airplane's ability to carry cargo. This engaging exercise is described in detail on a downloadable poster (shown below) which walks the students through the entire procedure, step-by-step. To complete the exercise, students may develop their own paper gliders or use on of four NASA designs (also shown below). These paper planes were patterned after real NASA aircraft and each performs radically different, adding a fun and dynamic element to the exercise.

X-43A
A very smooth and powerful performer modeled after the unmanned NASA X-34A Scramjet (supersonic-combustion ramjet) research vehicle which set the jet-powered speed record at Mach 9.6 in November, 2004.
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F-16XL

A fast and straight flier modeled after an F-16XL, a specially-designed, multi-role strike aircraft used by NASA to test laminar flow as a potential technology for a future High Speed Civil Transport (HSCT).
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Space Shuttle
A"workhorse" glider able to carry heavy payloads over a long distance, modeled after the real Space Shuttles: majestic in appearance, intricate in design, and infinite in the possibilities offered in space exploration.
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Centurion
A very agile and delicate flier modeled after NASA's Centurion, a lightweight, solar-powered, remotely-piloted flying wing that demonstrates the technology of applying solar power for long-duration, high-altitude flight.
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Future Flight Design Paper Airplane Poster

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poster

 

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