Recently in physics we took off with a study in flight where we learned about a few of the brave people who have taken flying to new heights. The trailblazers in this field are the Wright brothers. Orville and Wilbur worked hard to design a machine that could allow man to fly. Starting with kites and gliders, the Ohioan brothers used perseverance to research and develop the first airplane to take flight in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, NC. Although the first flight only lasted 12 seconds, the Wright’s planes continued to advance and eventually were used as the first military airplanes.
From here the study of flight began to soar, with Charles Lindberg braving the unknown in 1927 to be the first person to fly across the Atlantic. Lindberg’s trip in the Spirit of St. Louis from New York to Paris took him over 33 hours. The obstacles he faced have taught us a lot about flight, and his determination has inspired many to test the limits of flying.
The peak of our study was visiting the RWJ Airpark where we got to meet a great crew of Civil Air Patrol pilots. Don Fisher is a professional aerial photographer, and Scott Allison served in the military and flew a C-130 plane. The crew showed us the map and gear they use when they assist FEMA and other aid organizations in search and rescue.
Then they let us take turns wearing headsets and exploring the cockpit in a small plane. We learned that we turn the plane by turning the wheel left or right, pull it back to lift the plane and push it forward to land the plane. There was so much to learn about the lights on the plane, propellers, and other neat gadgets on the planes. Another worker was kind enough to show us a gyrocopter and explained how it works. Then we were able to show off some of what we’ve learned, for example the parts of a plane, the fuselage, wings, elevators, and rudders; and the four forces of flight: drag, thrust, lift, and gravity. Our kids asked great questions and we all had a lot of fun!
PS Our Kindergarteners also put their parts of the plane expertise into action by making a banana pudding plane for Tasty Thursday!
This groovin’ song helped us learn the four forces of flight!