- Ever since the first successful powered flight in 1903
by the Wright Brothers aviation has evolved into a broad spectrum of
practical and pleasurable services. Currently, American aeronautics can
be broken down into three distinctive categories: military aviation, the
scheduled commercial airline, and general aviation. Essentially, general
aviation is a catchall for everything that doesn't fall under the first
two categories. Although this includes gliders and helicopters, the vast
majority of general aviation aircraft are airplanes. The airplanes under
this category are generally smaller than the type used by airline
companies and can utilize the shorter runways of private airports or even
an open field.
- The student will make and observe the "flight" of
various types of paper airplanes that imitate the designs of the various
airplanes that fall under the three categories of military, commercial,
and general aviation.
- In this activity, the teacher will provide different types and
weights of paper for the students to make paper airplanes. There are
numerous books that you can check out of the library with plans to make
100's of different styles of paper airplanes and vehicles.
- Much of the American public was introduced to flying first hand
by what was called the postwar "flying Gypsies" or "Barnstormers". In
1919 scores of service pilots were released from duty and at the same
time hundreds of service planes were also released. One was called the
"Jenny" and became the most popular barnstorming plane.
Nowadays the commercial aspect of general aviation is extremely
broad, but this status owes much of its development to the hundreds of
young, inventive aviator entrepreneurs that seemed to flourish in the
1920's. Another incredible discovery for aviation pioneered in the
1920's and 1930's was the use of the airplane not because of its ability
to transport, but rather due to its bird's-eye view of the world. It
would not take long for the agricultural community to realize the value
of aerial application of insecticide or seed. A pilot with a plane
equipped for aerial dusting could cover 500 acres per hour! A task that
would normally have taken days and an entire crew! A similar application
that would soon follow was forest fire location and fighting. Not only
are the planes used to dust the forest with fire inhibitors, they are
also used to locate trained fire fighters into key areas of a fire's path
in an attempt to thwart its progress. Also, aerial photography and
surveying would prove invaluable to society.
The last sub-category of general aviation is flying done by
individuals for sport or personal pleasure. John Travolta is an
excellent example of an individual who flies for personal pleasure. He
has accumulated 4,500 of pilot-in-command hours and spend 4,200 hours in
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was founded to manage
and regulate aviation. The FAA must closely monitor all areas and
associations of flight.
- 15 - 20 minutes.
- 30 - 60 minutes.
WORDS TO KNOW:
- Gather library books that have a variety of types of
paper airplanes that can be constructed. There are 100's of different
designs, from the very simple to the very complex. One suggestion would
be "The Paper Airplane Book" by Seymour Simon, Viking Press, New York,
1971. This book explains the aerodynamics of airplanes and has complete
instructions on how to construct several different types of airplanes.
- military aviation
- commercial airlines
- general aviation
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Last modified: Wed Jan 7 17:19:56 PST 1998
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