Today we have been looking at aerodynamics by making a paper aeroplane.
The serious bit
Thrust versus Drag (air resistance): How hard you throw it, will influence how far it goes, but so will the design of the plane. The drag or air resistance is working in the opposite direction to slow it down. The more the plane is ‘streamlined’, the less air resistance or drag it will experience, so the pointed shape helps to cut through the air.
Lift versus Gravity: The wings give the plane lift. The opposing force is gravity trying to pull it down to the ground. The bigger the wings, the better the lift. If your plane is symmetrical it will travel in a straight line. If one wing is slightly bigger than the other is will tip it off balance because the forces will act differently on the different sides of the plane.
You would expect the trajectory to be arc shaped. It will glide for quite a while because the paper is light and it is streamlined but then gradually air resistance will slow it down and gravity will pull it down to the floor.
The fun bit