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Dec. 16, 2011

Paper Airplane Pyramids and More

by Leslie Taylor


Video by Science Friday

Using a pot, a speaker, and a bunch of straws, Leif Ristroph and colleagues at NYU are pushing the envelope of paper aircraft design. Their paper creations -- with shapes ranging from umbrellas to pyramids -- are pushed aloft by pulses of air created by a low-frequency tone from a subwoofer. Interestingly, the pulses of air give the aircrafts, which are not shaped at all like birds or insects, the appearance of flapping flight.

Want to explore airplane aerodynamics on your own? Check out this activity from Science Dad:
The Great Paper Airplane Experiment

About Leslie Taylor

Leslie is the online editor at Workboat.com and NationalFisherman.com. She has a background in oceanography and is passionate about getting non-scientists and young people to realize how cool science can be. She is also Science Friday's former web editor.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.

Science Friday® is produced by the Science Friday Initiative, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Science Friday® and SciFri® are registered service marks of Science Friday, Inc. Site design by Pentagram; engineering by Mediapolis.

 

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