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How Does A Plane Fly?

by John M. White |

As my wife and I sat at the breakfast table enjoying a cup of coffee we just brewed with our Keurig coffee maker we opened the mail and found an interesting letter. One of my websites, The Paper Airplane Company, sells foam and rubber band powered airplanes, and this young man found our site. Every once in a while we get an intriguing letter from a young person, and here is one I received a few days ago: "Eric 495 Route 45 Salem, NJ 08079 November 11, 2010 Dear The Paper Airplane Company, Hello. My name is Eric and I am a student at Mannington Township School. A part of my science fair project titled, "Does the wing span affect flight time?" I am required to gather information. I would appreciate any help you can give me answering any of the following questions:
  1. How does a plane fly?
  2. What is a fuselage?
  3. What do the wings do?
  4. When is the right time to fly a plane?
  5. How much altitude does the plane get?
  6. When does gravity come in?
  7. What is the drag for?
  8. How does wind affect the duration of flight time?
  9. Does the drag have to sit at a right angle for it to fly right?
  10. Does the smaller the plane affect the flying time?
  11. Does glue affect paper airplane flight?
  12. Does the plane construction material affect flight?
  13. How does wing design affect flight?
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I would appreciate a response as soon as possible. Sincerely, Eric 7th Grade Student Mannington School" My wife then went to our Keurig B70 Platinum Single-Cup Home Brewing System, grabbed another cup of coffee,  and sat down to read the letter. You see, I taught my wife how to fly many years ago, and I watched her as she read the letter.  When I taught my wife how to fly she was - by far - the student pilot who had to know everything - repeat - everything about how the airplane flies. We - of course - are preparing our answer for the youngster, but thought it might be interesting if any of our readers would like to send him a response as well. We all need to encourage as many young people to get involved in aviation as we can. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 ps: Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter "All Things Aviation" here!

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