1

Calculating which paper glider will stay in the air longest:
RACER 526 KING FISHER
①Wing type
a)Swept-back wings
 Produces less drag
②Dihedral angle

Figure 1
 Stability and Dihedral angle
a)Racer 526 King-Fisher has a dihedral angle of 10◦(see figure 1)
 Wing position and suitable dihedral angle
b)Wing position of Racer 526 King Fisher= High wing(see figure 1)
c)Suitable dihedral angle for high wing= 5◦ - 10◦
d)10◦(see ②a) is in the range of 5◦ - 10◦
∴ The dihedral angle is in the suitable range








10◦ 10◦
2

③MAC(Mean Aerodynamic Chord)and Center of gravity

Figure 2
 MAC
a)Using the formula to find MAC length
i)rc = Root Chord=4.5cm(see figure 2)
ii)t = Taper Ratio = (Tip Chord ÷ Root Chord)=2.5cm/4.5cm
iii)MAC = rc x 2/3 x (( 1 + t + t
2
) ÷ ( 1 + t ))
b) Substitute: MAC=4.5cm x 2/3 x ((1+(2.5/4.5))+(2.5/4.5)
2
)÷(1+(2.5/4.5))=3.60cm( rounded to 3 s.f)
 Centre of gravity
c) Using the rule: Center of gravity must be at 50% of the MAC(from the leading edge) for best long
duration flight
i) 50% of MAC=50/100 x 3.60cm=1.8cm

Figure 3
ii)Center of gravity is not at 50% of the MAC from the leading edge(see figure 3)
∴The center of gravity is not at the best location for the best long duration flight.






4.5cm
2.5cm
Root chord
Tip chord
Leading edge
Centre of gravity that is 1.8cm
from leading edge of MAC.
Actual centre of gravity
3

④Aspect ratio

Figure 4
 Length of wing span
a)Length of wing span for Racer 526 King fisher=16cm (See figure 4)
 Wing area
b) One side of the wing ABCD (see figure 4)
c)ABCD form a trapezium because AB//DC
i)Area of trapezium=AB+DC x height
d) Substitute into c(i): Area of trapezium=4.5cm+2.5cm x 8cm=28cm
2
e)Since AB is the center line, trapezium ABCD=trapezium EFBA
∴ The wing area=2 x the area of trapezium ABCD= 2 x 28cm
2
= 56cm
2

f)Using formula: Aspect ratio=(Length of wing span)
2

i) Substitute into f): (16cm)
2
= 256cm
2
= 4.57(rounded to 3 s.f)
56cm
2
56cm
2











Wing span= 16cm
4.5cm
B
C
D
2.5cm
E
F
8.0cm
2
2
A
Wing area
4

⑤Surface area of the horizontal stabilizer

Figure 5
 Surface area of the horizontal stabilizer
a)One side of horizontal stabilizer=ABCD(see figure 5)
b)ABCD form a trapezium because AB//DC
c)Area of trapezium= AB+DC x height = 3.0cm+2.0cm x 3.5cm=8.75cm
2
d) Since AB is the center line, trapezium ABCD=trapezium EFBA
∴ The horizontal stabilizer area=2 x the area of trapezium ABCD= 2 x 8.75cm
2
(from ⑤c) = 17.5cm
2

 Best surface are of the horizontal stabilizer for long duration flight
e)Using the formula:
Best horizontal surface area for long duration flight=0.6 S x t
S=Main wing surface area= 56cm
2
(from ④e)
t=Chord length or MAC for any wing shape not rectangular=3.60cm(from ③b)
ℓH=Distance from center of gravity to horizontal stabilizer=10cm(measured)
(i) Substitute into e): 0.6 56cm
2
x 3.60cm = 12.1cm
2
(rounded to 3 s.f)
17.5cm
2
(actual area of horizontal stabilizer-from ⑤d))≠12.1cm
2
(calculated best area for horizontal
stabilizer for long duration flight-from ⑤e(i))
∴The horizontal stabilizer surface area is not the best for long duration flight
 Absolute difference between actual area of horizontal stabilizer and calculated best area for
horizontal stabilizer for long duration flight.
a) Using formula: l calculated best area for horizontal stabilizer for long duration flight -Actual area of
horizontal stabilizer l
(i)Substitute into a): l 17.5cm
2
(from ⑤d)-12.1cm
2
(⑤e(i)) l =5.4cm
2


A
B
C
D
3.0cm
2.0cm
3.5cm
E
F
2 2
ℓH
10cm
5

⑥Surface area of vertical stabilizer

Figure 6
 Surface area of the Vertical stabilizer
a)Half of vertical stabilizer ABCD=EFGH(see figure 6)
b)ABCD form a trapezium because AB//DC
c)

Area of trapezium= AB+DC x height = 0.9cm+1.6cm x 1.5cm=1.875cm
2

d) Since trapezium ABCD=trapezium EFGH(from ⑥a)
∴ The vertical stabilizer surface area=2 x the area of trapezium ABCD= 2 x 1.875cm
2
(from⑥ c) = 3.75cm
2

 Best surface area of the Vertical stabilizer
e)Using the formula:
Best vertical stabilizer area=slightly more than 0.05 S x b
S=Main wing surface area=56cm
2
(from ④e)
b=Main wing span=16cm(from ④a)
ℓv=Distance from center of gravity to vertical stabilizer=11cm(measured)
(i) Substitute into e): 0.05 56cm
2
x 16cm = 4.07cm
2
3.75cm
2
(actual area of vertical stabilizer-from ⑥d)) is not slightly more than 4.07cm
2
(calculated best
area for the vertical stabilizer-from ⑥e(i))
∴The vertical stabilizer surface area is not the best
 Absolute difference between actual area of the vertical stabilizer and calculated best area for the
vertical stabilizer
f) Using formula: l calculated best area for vertical stabilizer for long -Actual area of vertical stabilizer l
(i)Substitute into f): l 4.07cm
2
(from ⑥d(i))-3.75cm
2
(⑥d) l =0.32cm
2


A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
2 2
1.6cm
0.9cm
1.5cm
ℓv
11
6

Calculating which paper glider will stay in the air longest:
RACER 524 BLUE JAY
①Wing type
a)Tapered wings
 More likely to stall
 Less drag than rectangular wings

②Dihedral angle

Figure 7
 Stability and Dihedral angle
a)Racer 524 Blue Jay has a dihedral angle of 15◦(see figure 7 )
 Wing position and suitable dihedral angle
b)Wing position of Racer 524 Blue Jay= High wing(see figure 7 )
c)Suitable dihedral angle for high wing= 5◦ - 10◦
d)15◦(see ②a) is not in the range of 5◦ - 10◦
∴ The dihedral angle is not in the suitable range








15◦
15◦
7

③MAC(Mean Aerodynamic Chord)and Center of gravity

Figure 8
 MAC
a)Using the formula to find MAC length
i)rc = Root Chord=5.0cm(see figure 8)
ii)t = Taper Ratio = (Tip Chord ÷ Root Chord)=2.0cm/5.0cm=0.4
iii)MAC = rc x 2/3 x (( 1 + t + t
2
) ÷ ( 1 + t )) =
b)Substitute: MAC=5.0cm x 2/3 x ((1+(0.4))+(0.4)
2
)÷(1+(0.4))=3.71cm( rounded to 3 s.f)
 Center of gravity
c) Using the rule: Center of gravity must be at 50% of the MAC(from the leading edge) for best long
duration flight
i) 50% of MAC=50/100 x 3.71cm=1.86(rounded to 3s.f)

Figure 9
ii)Center of gravity is not at 50% of the MAC from the leading edge(see figure 9)
∴The center of gravity is not at the best location for the best long duration flight.






Leading edge
5.0cm
2.0cm
Tip chord
Root chord
Centre of gravity that is 1.86 cm
from leading edge of MAC.
Actual centre of gravity
8


④Aspect ratio

Figure 10
 Length of wing span
a)Length of wing span for Racer 524 Blue Jay=20.0cm(see figure 10)
 Wing area
b) One side of the wing=ABCD (see figure 10)
c)ABCD form a trapezium because AB//DC
i) Area of trapezium=AB+DC x height
d) Substitute into c(i): 5.0cm+2.0cm x 10cm=35cm
2
e)Since AB is the center line, trapezium ABCD=trapezium EFBA
∴ The wing area=2 x the area of trapezium ABCD= 2 x 35cm
2
= 70cm
2

f)Using formula: Aspect ratio=(Length of wing span)
2

(i) Substitute into f): (20cm)
2
= 400cm
2
= 5.71(rounded to 3 s.f)

70cm
2
70cm
2










2
2
A
B
C
D
5.0cm
2.0cm
10.0cm
E
F
Wing span= 20.0cm
Wing area
9

⑤Surface area of the horizontal stabilizer

Figure 11
 Surface area of the horizontal stabilizer
a)One side of horizontal stabilizer=ABCD (see figure 11)
b)ABCD form a trapezium because AB//DC
c)Area of trapezium= AB+DC x height = 4.00cm+2.00cm x 5.25cm=15.75cm
2
d) Since AB is the center line, trapezium ABCD=trapezium EFBA
∴ The horizontal stabilizer area=2 x the area of trapezium ABCD= 2 x 15.75cm
2
(from ⑤c) = 31.5cm
2

 Best surface are of the horizontal stabilizer for long duration flight
e)Using the formula:
Best horizontal surface area for long duration flight=0.6 S x t
S=Main wing surface area= 70cm
2
(from ④e)
t=Chord length or MAC for any wing shape not rectangular=3.71cm(from ③b)
ℓH=Distance from center of gravity to horizontal stabilizer=13cm(measured)
(i) Substitute into e): 0.6 70cm
2
x 3.71cm = 12.0cm
2
(rounded to 3 s.f)
31.5cm
2
(actual area of horizontal stabilizer-from ⑤d))≠12.0cm
2
(calculated best area for horizontal
stabilizer for long duration flight-from ⑤e(i))
∴The horizontal stabilizer surface area is not the best for long duration flight
 Absolute difference between actual area of horizontal stabilizer and calculated best area for
horizontal stabilizer for long duration flight.
f) Using formula: l calculated best area for horizontal stabilizer for long duration flight -Actual area of
horizontal stabilizer l
(i)Substitute into f): l 31.5cm
2
(from ⑤d)-12.0cm
2
(⑤e(i)) l =19.5cm
2



A
B C
D E
F
5.25cm
4.00cm
2.00cm
2 2
ℓH
13cm
10

⑥Surface area of vertical stabilizer

Figure 12
 Surface area of the Vertical stabilizer
a) Vertical stabilizer ABCD(see figure 12)
b)ABCD form a trapezium because AD//BC
c)

Area of trapezium= AD+BC x height
(i) Substitute into c): 1.5cm+4.5cm x 3.5cm=10.5cm
2

∴ The vertical stabilizer surface area = 10.5cm
2

 Best surface area of the Vertical stabilizer
d)Using the formula:
Best vertical stabilizer area=slightly more than 0.05 S x b
S=Main wing surface area=70cm
2
(from ④e)
b=Main wing span=20cm(from ④a)
ℓv=Distance from center of gravity to vertical stabilizer=11cm(measured)
(i) Substitute into e): 0.05 70cm
2
x 20cm = 6.36cm
2
10.5cm
2
(actual area of vertical stabilizer-from ⑥c(i)) is slightly more than 6.36cm
2
(calculated best area
for the vertical stabilizer-from ⑥d(i))
∴The vertical stabilizer surface area is the best






A
B
C
D
4.5cm
1.5cm
2
2
ℓv
11
3.5cm
11

Calculating which paper glider will stay in the air longest:
CANARD
①Wing type
a)Tapered wings
 More likely to stall
 Less drag than rectangular wings
②Dihedral angle

Figure 13
 Stability and Dihedral angle
a) Canard has a dihedral angle of 13◦(see figure 13)
 Wing position and suitable dihedral angle
b)Wing position of Canard= High wing(see figure 13)
c)Suitable dihedral angle for high wing= 5◦ - 10◦
d)13◦(see ②a) is not in the range of 5◦ - 10◦
∴ The dihedral angle is not in the suitable range







13◦ 13◦
12

③MAC(Mean Aerodynamic Chord)and Center of gravity

Figure 14
 MAC
a)Using the formula to find MAC length
i)rc = Root Chord=4.0cm(see figure 14)
ii)t = Taper Ratio = (Tip Chord ÷ Root Chord)=2.5cm/4.0cm=0.625
iii)MAC = rc x 2/3 x (( 1 + t + t
2
) ÷ ( 1 + t )) =
b)Substitute: MAC=4.0cm x 2/3 x ((1+(0.625))+(0.625)
2
)÷(1+(0.625))=3.31cm( rounded to 3 s.f)
 Center of gravity
c) Using the rule: Center of gravity must be at 50% of the MAC(from the leading edge) for best long
duration flight
i) 50% of MAC=50/100 x 3.31cm=1.66(rounded to 3s.f)

Figure 15
ii)Center of gravity is not at 50% of the MAC from the leading edge(see figure 15)
∴The center of gravity is not at the best location for the best long duration flight.







Leading edge
Tip chord
Root chord
4.0cm
2.5cm
Actual centre of gravity Centre of gravity that is 1.66cm
from leading edge of MAC.
13


④Aspect ratio

Figure 16
 Length of wing span
a)Length of wing span for Racer 524 Blue Jay=17cm(see figure 16)
 Wing area
b) One side of the wing=ABDE=FGBA (see figure 16)
c)ABCE forms a trapezium and CED forms a right angle triangle
(i)ABCE form a trapezium because AB//CE
(ii) Area of trapezium ABCE=AB+CE x height
(iii)Substitute into c(ii): 4.0cm+2.5cm x 8cm=26.0cm
2

(iv)Area of right angle triangle CED=Base x Height= CD x ED
(v) Substitute into c(iv): 0.5 x 2.3=0.575cm
2
d)ABCE+CED=ABDE (see figure 16)
∴The area of ABDE=ABCE+CED=26.0cm
2
(from ④c(iii))+0.575cm
2
(from ④c(v))=26.575cm
2
e)Since AB is the center line, ABDE=FGBA(see figure 16)
∴ The wing area=2 x the area of ABDE= 2 x 26.575.cm
2
= 53.15cm
2

f)Using formula: Aspect ratio=(Length of wing span)
2

(i) Substitute into f): (17cm)
2
= 289cm
2
= 5.44(rounded to 3 s.f)

53.15cm
2
53.15cm
2





A
2
2
Wing area
B
C
D
E
F
G
Wing span= 17.0cm
2 2
4.0cm
2.3cm
2.5cm
0.5cm
8.0cm
2
14


⑤Surface area of the horizontal stabilizer

Figure 17
*The horizontal stabilizer for the canard is its front wing
 Surface area of the horizontal stabilizer
a)Canard horizontal stabilizer Semi-circle ABC(see figure 17)
b) Area of a semicircle= r
2

(i)Substitute into b): (3)
2
=9 =14.1(rounded to 3 s.f)
 Best surface are of the horizontal stabilizer for long duration flight
c)Using the formula:
Best horizontal surface area for long duration flight=0.6 S x t
S=Main wing surface area= 53.15cm
2
(from ④e)
t=Chord length or MAC for any wing shape not rectangular=3.31cm(from ③b)
ℓH=Distance from center of gravity to horizontal stabilizer=7cm(measured)
(i) Substitute into c): 0.6 53.15cm
2
x 3.31cm = 15.1cm
2
(rounded to 3 s.f)
14.1cm
2
(actual area of horizontal stabilizer-from ⑤b(i))≠15.1cm
2
(calculated best area for horizontal
stabilizer for long duration flight-from ⑤c(i))
∴The horizontal stabilizer surface area is not the best for long duration flight
 Absolute difference between actual area of horizontal stabilizer and calculated best area for
horizontal stabilizer for long duration flight.
f) Using formula: l calculated best area for horizontal stabilizer for long duration flight -Actual area of
horizontal stabilizer l
(i)Substitute into f): l 15.1cm
2
(from ⑤c(i))-14.1cm
2
(⑤b)) l =1cm
2


A
B
C
2
r=3cm
r=3cm
2 2
ℓH
7cm
15

⑥Surface area of vertical stabilizer

Figure 18
 Surface area of the Vertical stabilizer
a) Vertical stabilizer=ABDEF(see figure 18)
b)ABCF forms a trapezium and FCDE forms a rectangle
(i)ABCF forms a trapezium because AB//FC
(ii)Area of trapezium ABCF=AB+CF x height
(iii)Substitute into b(ii): 1.5cm+5.0cm x 3.0cm=9.75cm
2
(iv)Area of rectangle FCDE=Length x Width=FC x CD
(v) Substitute into c(iv): 5cm x 1.5cm =7.50cm
2
c)ABCF+FCDE=ABDEF (see figure 18)
∴The area of ABDEF=ABCF+CED=9.75cm
2
(from ⑥b(iii))+7.50cm
2
(from ⑥b(v))=17.25cm
2
 Best surface area of the Vertical stabilizer
d)Using the formula:
Best vertical stabilizer area=slightly more than 0.05 S x b
S=Main wing surface area=53.15cm
2
(from ④e)
b=Main wing span=17cm(from ④a)
ℓv=Distance from center of gravity to vertical stabilizer=8cm(measured)
(i) Substitute into e): 0.05 53.15cm
2
x 17cm = 5.65cm
2
(Rounded to 3 s.f)
17.25cm
2
(actual area of vertical stabilizer-from ⑥c) is not slightly more than 5.65cm
2
(calculated best
area for the vertical stabilizer-from ⑥d(i)), it is a lot more.
∴The vertical stabilizer surface area is the not best
 Absolute difference between actual area of the vertical stabilizer and calculated best area for the
vertical stabilizer
e) Using formula: l calculated best area for vertical stabilizer for long -Actual area of vertical stabilizer l
(i)Substitute into e): l 5.65cm
2
(from ⑥d(i))-17.25cm
2
(⑥c) l =11.6cm
2
A
B C
D
E
F
G
1.5cm
3.0cm
5.0cm
1.5cm
2
2
ℓv
8cm
16

CONCLUSION
Each design is ranked 1-3 for each criteria based on the mathematical/physics prediction, 1 being the best and 3
being the worst. The design with the lowest sum of rank will be predicted to stay in the air the longest.

①Wing type
Design Wing type Rank(1-3)
Racer King-Fisher 526 Swept-back 2
Racer Blue Jay 524 Tapered 1
Canard Tapered 1
②Dihedral angle
 Stability
Design Dihedral angle(˚) Rank(1-3)
Racer King-Fisher 526 10 3
Racer Blue Jay 524 15 1
Canard 13 2
*The more the dihedral, the higher the ranking
 Suitable dihedral angle for wing position
Design In suitable range for wing
position?(Yes/No)
Rank (1-2)
Racer King-Fisher 526 Yes 1
Racer Blue Jay 524 No 3
Canard No 3
*If the dihedral is in the suitable range, the higher the rank
③MAC(Mean Aerodynamic Chord)and Center of gravity
Design Is the center of gravity at 50% of the MAC from
the leading edge?(Yes/No)
Rank(1-3)
Racer King-Fisher 526 No 3
Racer Blue Jay 524 No 3
Canard No 3
*If the center of gravity is at 50% of the MAC from the leading edge, the higher the rank
④Aspect ratio
Design Aspect ratio Rank(1-3)
Racer King-Fisher 526 4.57 3
Racer Blue Jay 524 5.71 1
Canard 5.44 2
*The higher the aspect ratio, the higher the rank
⑤Surface area of the horizontal stabilizer
Design Is the actual surface area the
same as the calculated best
surface area of the horizontal
stabilizer for long duration
flight? (Yes/No)
(If "no")Absolute
difference between actual
surface area and the
calculated best surface
area for long duration
flight(cm
2
)
Rank(1-3)
Racer King-Fisher 526 No 5.4 2
Racer Blue Jay 524 No 19.5 3
Canard No 1.0 1
*The lower the difference between the absolute difference between actual surface area and the calculated best
surface area for long duration flight, the higher the ranking
17

*OR the highest ranking(1) if the actual surface area is the same as the calculated best surface area of the horizontal
stabilizer for long duration flight
⑥Surface area of vertical stabilizer
Design Is the surface area slightly
more than the calculated
best surface area for the
vertical stabilizer(Yes/No)
(If "no")Absolute
difference between actual
surface area and the
calculated best surface
area for the vertical
stabilizer (cm
2
)
Rank(1-3)
Racer King-Fisher 526 No 0.32 2
Racer Blue Jay 524 Yes - 1
Canard No 11.6 3
*The lower the difference between the absolute difference between the actual surface area and the calculated best
surface area for the vertical stabilizer, the higher the rank
*OR, the highest rank(1) if the actual surface area is slightly more than the calculated best surface area for the vertical
stabilizer.
Table to show the sum of ranking



Based on the results of the prediction, I can make a conjecture that:
"The Racer Blue Jay 524 will stay in the air for the longest duration followed by the Canard then
the Racer King-Fisher 526"













Design Sum of ranking
Racer King-Fisher 526
16
Racer Blue Jay 524
13
Canard
15
18

TESTING
Equipment: Protractor, 30cm ruler, Wooden rod, Rubber catapult, Racer 526 King fisher, Canard, Racer 524 Blue Jay, Stop watch.
Controlled variables
Controlled variable How it will be controlled
Environmental
condition
Ensuring the same environmental condition each time(description
of what the environmental condition is like)
Angle glider is
released at
Released at an angle of 45˚ or 90˚(for the Racer 526 King Fisher)
using a protractor to measure the angle
The force the glider is
launched with
Using a rubber catapult to release the glider from the same
stretched length each time (the most the rubber band can stretch)
RAW DATA
Racer 526 King Fisher
Controlled variable check:
Controlled variable Description
Environmental condition Sunny, slight wind
Angle glider is released at(˚) 90(see diagram 1)
Stretched length of the catapult that
the glider is released with
The most the rubber band can stretch(see diagram
1)


Diagram 1
Raw data table to show how long Racer 526 King Fisher can stay in the air for 5 trials(seconds)
Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5
Duration Racer 526 King Fisher stays in the
air(seconds)
6.35 5.74 6.85 6.53 6.76
x cm
90˚
19

Racer 524 Blue Jay
Controlled variable check:
Controlled variable Description
Environmental condition Sunny, slight wind
Angle glider is released at(˚) 45(see diagram 2)
Stretched length of the catapult that
the glider is released with
The most the rubber band can stretch(see
diagram 2)


Diagram 2

Raw data table to show how long Racer 524 Blue Jay can stay in the air for 5 trials(seconds)















Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5
Duration Racer 524 Blue Jay stays in the
air(seconds)
7.81 7.91 5.75 6.88 5.51
x cm
45˚
20

Canard
Controlled variable check:
Controlled variable Description
Environmental condition Sunny, slight wind
Angle glider is released at(˚) 45(see diagram 3)
Stretched length of the catapult that
the glider is released with
The most the rubber band can stretch(see
diagram 3)


Diagram 3
Raw data table to show how long canard can stay in the air for 5 trials(seconds)








Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Trial 4 Trial 5
Duration Canard stays in the air(seconds) 4.10 4.16 5.46 5.91 4.88
x cm
45˚
21

Calculating the average duration the gliders stay in the air(s):
1) Using the formula: Trial 1+Trial 2 +Trial 3+Trial 4+ Trial 5

Racer 526 King Fisher
a)Substitute into 1): 6.35s+5.74s+6.85s+6.53s+6.76s = 6.45s (rounded to 3 s.f.)
Racer 524 Blue Jay
b) Substitute into 1):7.81s+7.91s+5.75s+6.88s+5.51s =6.77s (rounded to 3 s.f.)
Canard
c) Substitute into 1): 4.10s+4.16s+5.46s+5.91s+4.88s =4.90s(rounded to 3 s.f.)

PROCESSED DATA
Design Average duration it stays in the air(seconds)
Racer 526 King-Fisher 6.45
Racer 524 Blue Jay 6.77
Canard 4.90

CONCLUSION
In conclusion, the conjecture
"The Racer Blue Jay 524 will stay in the air for the longest duration followed by the Canard then
the Racer King-Fisher 526"
was partially proven through testing. Based on the testing results, it was proven that the Racer 524
Blue Jay stayed in the air longest. However, the test results did not show that the Canard stayed in
the air the 2nd longest or that the Racer 526 King-Fisher stayed in the air for shortest amount of
time. Instead, the test result showed that the Racer 526 King-Fisher stayed in the air 2nd longest and
the canard stayed in the air for the shortest amount of time.

5
5
5
5

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