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Paper Airplane Project
Mr. Cantlin's Algebra 1A and 1B Classes

Introduction and Description

Build your own high quality paper airplane that flies dependably and has a repeatable flight path. It must fly, not just fall! Measure the slope (rise over run) of your plane's flight path and use your measurements to predict your plane's flight distance when launched easily (using only a small flick of your wrist) from a height of four feet, six feet, and eight feet. A final class demonstration will be held to compare the predicted with the actual flight path. Note that the length of the flight path is not the most important goal, it is the dependability and repeatability that counts the most. A well constructed plane followed by a well conducted testing and measuring program will produce the best results. Some flying tips are provided to help you in your testing and measuring program.

Materials and Construction
A single sheet of 8.5 inch by 11 inch paper and a small amount of glue is all that may be used in the construction of your paper airplane. The paper may be up to the thickness of heavy construction paper, cardboard and similar paper products are not allowed. The overall construction is to be of folded paper. Any glue used should be not visible and should be used sparingly. Appropriate use of glue would be a few drops here and there for reinforcement or to add decorative touches. Small cuts may be made in the paper for control surfaces such as rudders or elevators, or for decoration. But the basic construction is to be folded. In other words, you cannot cut out the airplane's body or wings and glue them on, the major airplane parts are to be made from folded paper.

Your Written Report
Your written report must be typed and must include the following sections, labeled, and in this order:
  1. Heading with your name, name of the plane if any, project name, class period, and date.
  2. Narrative description of your airplane including whether or not it is your own design and if it is not your own design, the source of the design. Include a description of how it was constructed and the materials used.
  3. Narrative description of your testing and measuring program including what you did, how you did it, and what, if any, changes you had to make to the plane to improve its flight path dependability and repeatability.
  4. A table with your slope prediction for a flight from a height of four feet, six feet, and eight feet.