May 5, 2004
Angle of Attack and Lift
How Does Angle of Attack Affect Lift?
Ryan Lee, 13, Hamilton, Ohio
Finalist, Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge, 2003
Project background: This year marks the hundredth anniversary of Orville and Wilbur Wright's first flight. The Wrights conducted much of their research in Dayton, Ohio, a town near the one where Ryan lives. Inspired by the Wrights' legacy, Ryan decided to build a wind tunnel in an effort to determine if increasing the angle of attack increases lift.
Tactics and results: Ryan built a wind tunnel with a design similar to that used by the Wright Brothers. His airfoil had a traditional high-lift wing shape. Ryan tested his airfoil at airspeeds ranging from 13 to 21 miles per hour and at 0°, 100°, 200°, and 300° angles of attack. He showed that lift does increase as the angle of attack increases.
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