Project Description

Aviation students assembled kites to fly in order to better understand the relationship between, and the concepts of Groundspeed and Airspeed. They gathered the current wind information and expressed it in relation to GMT and local time. They then predicted the best heading (choosing between two opposing headings) that they thought would result in the highest altitude in the shortest amount of time. They explained their reasoning. Students then followed the procedure to test fly the kite in each of the two opposing headings and gathered the data around ease of flight and altitude achieved. Students then reflected on the outcomes and determined whether they had accurately predicted the best heading.

Showcase Video

Content: The top 3 things I learned from this showcase were:

I learned how the experience of flying a kite brought the aviation terminology of groundspeed, airspeed and headings to life. In having to interpret, what we should gather from getting current wind speeds and headings, we applied what we thought was the best heading for takeoff. The kites clearly told us whether we had grasped the relationship between the terms correctly.

Culture: This project relates or connects to my family, background, peers, community or my own personal interests in these ways:

I have travelled and flown a lot as I am in a competitive soccer league. My brother is also an engineer so from my life experience, I have gained an interest in flight. I want to be a pilot and travel the world. The Butler Tech Aviation pathway is my first substantive step in that direction toward my goal.

Metacognition: In reflection, one thing that I would have done differently during my journey with this showcase is:

As theoretical concepts, I learned about headings, wind speed, groundspeed and airspeed. It is the relationship between these terms as they apply to takeoff that did not become clear until we went out and actually flew the kites. I had actually selected the heading that did not create optimal lift for takeoff, originally. By trying the opposing heading, and seeing the improved result, it will help me remember how to apply these terms. Now I want to test it out in an airplane!

Social/Emotional: One thing I am most proud of by completing this showcase is:

I was a little confused about the relationship between the current wind information and what it should tell me about planning a takeoff. After the kite lab, I am much more confident in my understanding of how to use the current wind information to plan a heading for a takeoff.

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