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John Simkin

Alex's Paper Aeroplanes

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This website provides plans that enable students to cut and fold paper into a wide range of aerodynamic shapes. This includes the Rapier (flies like a glider but has the elegant shape and great precision of a dart), Flying Fish (flies well in a straight line), Dragon Plane (will fly for 30 meters), Helicopter (will stay aloft for ages and spiral down excellently), Rocket (designed by a Physics lecturer) and Floating Paper Airplane (with its wide wing span and the stabilising winglets at the end of wings it is very stable and flies for long distances).

http://www.paperairplanes.co.uk/planes.html

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Well..guess John teaches Physics!!

One missing, take a plastic drinking straw, attatch a loop of paper to either end, first has radius about 8 cms the second about 4 cms. Width of loop about 1 cm. It flies better than any paper plane.

Also an excuse to see if board works.

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Six or 12 inch rulers can be made to fly. The trick is throw the ruler holding it in the middle with your thu8mb on the lower edge and two or three fingertips on the upper edge flicking it with your fingertips to make it rotate on its longitudinal axis. If the ruler is thrown slightly downwards, it will gain a little lift and fly. :D

It works with both plastic and wooden rulers. There is sufficient momentum and kinetic energy to overcome the drag caused by the ruler spinning. I suspect that lift is generated as the ruler spins. It would be interesting to know what the aerodynamics are. Any ideas?

Needless to say there is a health & safety warning: great in the open air but not in a crowded classroom.

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