- Easier -
Flight is the ability to fly. It is the act of
traveling or moving through the air.
- Harder -
Humans first observed flight in other animals in the
natural world. Birds have wings and most have the
ability to fly. Many insects can fly. Only one mammal
can fly, the bat. However both the flying squirrel and
the flying lemur can glide.
- Humans experimented and developed ways of flying.
Lighter-than-air methods that have successfully been
used include hot air balloons and blimps. On December
17, 1903, brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright made the
first successful heavier-than-air flights near Kitty
Hawk, North Carolina. They had built their airplane
after studying the writings of other aviation pioneers
and experimenting with gliders, kites, and wind
tunnels. Helicopters and gliders are the two other
types of heavier-than-air craft.
- Four basic forces are involved in the flight of an
airplane: (1) gravity, (2) lift, (3) drag, and (4)
thrust. Thrust is created by a plane's propeller or
its jet engines. Drag is the natural force of air that
resists an airplane's forward movement. Lift is
created by the plane's wings as they move through the
air. And gravity is the natural force that pushes a
plane toward the ground.
- Gravity and lift are opposing forces, as are drag
and thrust. When the plane's lift equals the force of
gravity and the force of thrust equals the drag, the
plane remains in level, cruising flight. When one or
more of these four forces change, the plane begins to
change its altitude, direction, or speed.
- This comprehensive site has aviation news and
history, a huge photo collection of all types of
aircraft, and much, much more.
- This comprehensive site connects to a varied
collection of aviation resources; everything from
aerobatics to ballooning, paragliding, flight
simulators and more
of Aviation at Gander Academy
- This is the site of a great collection of links on
aviation and flight.
to a Flying Start: Kids Flight Page from
- This introductory site on flight includes great
information about aircraft and airports.
- Other Related NASA Sites:
- 2) Aerospace Team Online http://quest.arc.nasa.gov/aero/index.html
- 3) Basics of Space Flight http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/basics/
- 4) Four Forces of Flight http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/trc/saic/4forces.html
- 5) How Things Fly http://www.aero.hq.nasa.gov/edu/index.html
- 6) Using Research Tools to Design an Airplane
- 7) Wright Flyer Online from NASA's Aero Design
- Websites By Kids For Kids
Nation (1998 ThinkQuest Project)
- This comprehensive site covers many aspects of
flight, including great aviation disasters, the
inventors, early aviators, and experimenters.
(2000 ThinkQuest Project)
- This site is basically about aerodynamics, which
is how planes move and stay in the air.
(1999 ThinkQuest Project)
- Learn about the basics of flight such as the
effect of air pressure and attack angles.
The Science of Flight (1998 ThinkQuest
- This website presents a complete history of
aviation past, present, and future. Discover facts on
the early visionaries such as Leonardo da Vinci,
peruse information about the beginnings of modern
flight, and check out a history of space flight.
Through the Ages (1998 ThinkQuest Junior
- Take a trip through the history of flight. Learn
why gliding flight is different from 'true'
Evolution of Jet Planes (1998 ThinkQuest
- This project covers sixteen different types of
jets including the Boeing 737 and a F-22 Raptor. Learn
about the science of flight and what makes flight
(1998 ThinkQuest Project)
- Learn about the history of flight. Choose an
aircraft, view the blueprints, and investigate
Deck (2000 ThinkQuest Project)
- This webpage looks into aerodynamics and it's
uses, from birds to helicopters and aeroplanes, and
also covers Bernoulli's principle and the Venturi
Through the Past: Aviation in the 20th Century
(1999 ThinkQuest Project)
- This site focuses on the influence of aviation in
the past century.
(1996 ThinkQuest Project)
- Students can learn the basics of flight on this
site. They'll learn how Bernoulli's Principle enables
wings to produce lift, forces, propellers and
combustion engines. There are also images and
statistics on civilian, military, and WWII
of Military Aviation
- This project site features images and descriptions
of military aircraft.
History of Flight (1998 ThinkQuest Junior
- Learn about the history of flight--how people took
to the air. Then try to fly a plane with an
interactive model. Create your own design for a
Space Flight (1996 ThinkQuest Project)
- See what it took to become an astronaut and the
training involved. Learn about the history of rocket
propulsion and the manned U.S. space program.
of Flight (1998 ThinkQuest Project)
- Explore the history of flight from the ideas of da
Vinci to the jet age. Test your knowledge of flight
history with an online quiz. Learn about the four
basic principles that allow a plane to fly: lift,
gravity, thrust, and drag.
Aviation (1999 ThinkQuest Project)
- This site explores the milestones and
technological breakthroughs that have occurred in
Off Into Flight (1999 ThinkQuest Junior
- Visit this site to learn more about planes.
in Aviation (1998 ThinkQuest Project)
- Women have been involved in aviation since flight
of the first hot air balloon, and their
accomplishments deserve much wider recognition This
comprehensive web site introduces you to remarkable
women such as Jackie Cochran, Amelia Earhart, and
- More Websites on Flight
Aeronautics Internet Textbook
- This site covers aeronautics from the history of
aircraft to the aerodynamics of sports.
- Not To Be Missed Sections:
- 2) A Very Natural Occurrence http://wings.ucdavis.edu/Book/Nature/beginner/intro-01.html
- 3) Principles of Aeronautics http://wings.ucdavis.edu/Book/index.html
Principles of Flight - Level 1
- Learn about aviation, the four forces that act on
a plane in flight, the names and functions of the
surfaces of an airplane, and then try some flight
- Air Traffic
Control System Command Center
- Select an airport from the map or from the
drop-down list to obtain the latest delay
- Related Website:
- 2) Flight Tracker http://www.trip.com/ft/home/0,2096,1-1,00.shtml
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
- Celebrate the 100th year of flight on this cool
site. View a timeline of flying history, learn about
the parts of an airplane, see some photos, and much
of a Blimp
- Ever wonder how that thing stays up there? This
site features a dissection of a blimp and an
Modeling of Bird Flight Animations
- This site provides video clips of animated bird
flight. Click on the image to load. Be patient, it
will take a little while but is worth the wait.
- Learn about Boeing aircraft.
Airplanes Work by M. Brain and B. Adkins at
- This site explains both the Longer Path
explanation and the Newtonian explanation of how lift
- Related Websites at HowStuffWorks:
- 2) Aviation (Links-site) http://www.howstuffworks.com/category-aviation.htm
- 3) How Concordes Work by C. Freundrich http://www.howstuffworks.com/concorde1.htm
- 4) How Helicopters Work by M. Brain http://www.howstuffworks.com/helicopter.htm
- 5) Personal Jetpacks Take Off http://www.howstuffworks.com/news-item149.htm
- Flights of
Inspiration from Franklin
- Learn about the Wright brothers who made the first
flight, Alcock and Brown who made the first
transatlantic flight and more.
Air and Space Museum at the
- "The Wright Broterhs - The Invention of the Aerial
Age" exhibit covers thje topics of "Who were Wilbur
and Orville", Inventing A Flying Machine", and "The
Aerial Age Begins". Includes interaction experiments
and classroom activities.
- Another Museum Site:
- 2) Canadian Museum of Flight http://www.canadianflight.org/index01.htm
Fun with Airplanes from Ohio State
- Learn about the principles of flight and how
pilots control airplanes. You can even build your own
- Flight at PBS American
- This website examines the early days of aviation
and the fearless flyers who defied the laws of gravity
and proved that men and women could rule the vast blue
- Other Related PBS Sites:
- 2) Balloon Race Around the World from PBS NOVA
- 3) Fly Girls from PBS American
- Learn about about her life, flights, and
- Similar Websites:
- 2) Official site of Amelia Earhart http://www.worldbook.com/fun/aviator/html/av3.htm
- 3) Amelia Earhart http://www.incwell.com/Biographies/Earhart.html
- 4) Amelia Earhart: 1897-1937 http://www.greatwomen.org/erhrt.htm
Coleman (1892 -1926) from PBS American
- Learn about this aviator's life and
- Related Websites:
- 2) Bessie Coleman http://www.ninety-nines.org/coleman.html
- 3) Legacy of Bessie Coleman by L. Oertly http://www.faa.gov/avr/news/Bessie.htm
from PBS American Experience
- The companion site to a PBS program includes a
timeline, stories from his life, and maps of his
- Related Websites:
- 2) Charles Lindbergh Hall of Fame http://www.dot.state.mn.us/aero/aved/publications/skyslimit/lindbergh.html
- 3) Charles Lindbergh
Charles Kingsford Smith
- Learn about one of Australia's famed pilots, known
for his oceanic flights.
- Similar Website:
- 2) Charles Kingsford Smith http://abc.net.au/btn/australians/cksmith.htm
Brothers at First Flight
- Learn about the Wright brothers experiments that
led to their first flight.
- Related Websites:
- 2) How We Made the First Flight by O. Wright
- 3) Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company http://www.wright-brothers.org/
- 4) Wright Brothers History: The Tale of the
Airplane by G. Bradshaw http://www.wam.umd.edu/~stwright/WrBr/taleplane.html
- Websites For Teachers
for Teaching Flight from the
Smithsonian (Grades K-6)
- These lesson plans have students draw upon their
own experiences and sense of movement to understand
the basic physics of flight.
- Here you find instructions for several activities
to help students understand the different things that
affect aerodynamics: lift, drag, wind currents, fluid
dynamics, and more.
Activities from Glen Learning Technologies
- This links-site connects to several activities,
experiments and lesson plans that will help explain
some of basic principles of aeronautics.
- Other Lesson Plans/Activities from Glen
- 2) Beginner's Guide to Aerodynamics (Grades
- Students will distinguish between mechanical
things that fly, natural things that fly, and
make-believe things that fly plus have a basic
understanding of how bats, planes, and birds fly.
All the Angles at Wright Flyer
- These lesson and activities sheets introduces the
concept that the launch angle affects airflow around
the wing and thus affects the amount of lift generated
by the wing.
Lounge at Wright Flyer Online (Grades
- This activity is designed to introduce students to
the concept that the launch angle affects airflow
around the wing, and thus affects the amount of lift
generated by the wing.
- Created by
2/01. Updated by King