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ERIC Number: EJ945890
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Nov
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Measuring Lift with the Wright Airfoils
Heavers, Richard M.; Soleymanloo, Arianne
Physics Teacher, v49 n8 p502-504 Nov 2011
In this laboratory or demonstration exercise, we mount a small airfoil with its long axis vertical at one end of a nearly frictionless rotating platform. Air from a leaf blower produces a sidewise lift force L on the airfoil and a drag force D in the direction of the air flow (Fig. 1). The rotating platform is kept in equilibrium by adding weights (the measured values of L) to the lower end of a string passing over a pulley and connected to the other end of the rotating platform (Fig. 2). Our homemade airfoils are similar to those tested by the Wright brothers in 1901. From our lift plots in Fig. 3, we can draw the same conclusions as the Wrights about the influence of an airfoil's curvature and shape on lift. (Contains 5 figures.)
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A