Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Turbulence Explained - #BigMetalBird

Big Metal Bird is a series of videos about aviation and the aviation industry. The videos were produced by United Airlines and some of the episodes are clearly done for marketing purposes, but the episode about air turbulence is useful to anyone who is nervous about flying or is just curious about what causes turbulence. By watching the video embedded below viewers can learn what causes four types of turbulence and how airline pilots and ground crews work to avoid turbulent air.

Here are two related resources that you might find useful for helping students learn how airplanes fly:

How Things Fly features an interactive module in which students design their own airplanes. The activity starts with a simple and slow airplane that students have to modify until it reaches a target speed and altitude. As students modify the wings, fuselage, and engines of their airplanes they are given instant feedback on the effects of those modifications. In some cases the feedback includes the airplane crashing and the students having to start over again.

The Minute Physics video How Do Airplanes Fly? explains the roles of wings, propellers, turbines, and wind currents in making a plane fly.

H/T to The Points Guy for the Big Metal Bird videos.