Paper Airplane Drag Lab (Light)
1. Find the mass of a piece of paper. (M=_________)
2. Measure coefficient of kinetic friction between paper and ground (use a scale, add mass atop
paper, and pull until it moves)
Normal Force Force applied (constant velocity) Calculated Coefficient of Friction
Average Coefficient of Friction
3. Determine the effective spring constant of the launch set up using a spring scale.
Plot force applied by the scale (Fapplied) as a function of distance pulled (x).
4. Measure the height of the launcher on the table. (H=__________)
5. Build a paper airplane which minimizes drag and accommodates the bent paper clip on its tip.
6. Pull back the airplane and measure how far you stretch the launcher back.
7. Launch the plane mark where it hits the ground. Measure distance to this point. Record below.
8. Measure the distance the plane travelled along the ground. Record below.
9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 two more times (total of three trials).
Distance Plane Drawn Back Distacne traveled before impact Distance traveled after impact
For each of the following, use the average values for distances from your trials
1. Calculate the total energy of the plane before launching (Spring energy + Gravitational Potential)
2. Calculate the work done by friction as it slid along the floor.
3. The difference in these energies is lost due to drag during flight. Calculate how much energy is
lost by the plane per meter of flight.
1. How much work was done on the plane during flight?
2. What was the average drag force during flight?
3. Name at least one source of error in the experimental set up. This could be with the equipment
or assumptions made during the analysis.
4. What was the initial velocity of the plane as it left the launcher?
Bungee Jumping Masses
1. Calculate the rest length of a bungee cord (spring constant k) required for a successful bungee
jump of a mass (m) from a given height (h). Solve algebraically.
Egi = Egf + Esf
Note: the length after stretching will be the rest length plus the stretch. (H = L + x)
1. Measure the spring constant of the springs provided using Hooke’s apparatus
2. Tie the spring to the end of a string about 1m long.
3. FRIMLY attach a 200g mass to the spring.
4. Using the results of your prelab, calculate how long the string needs to be to have the mass miss
the ground by 2.0cm given your measured k value.
5. Lay the string-spring-mass system on the table straight. Measure out the length calculated in
part 4 from the base of the mass along the string.
6. Attach the string to the edge of the table at the point indicated.
IF THIS WAS A PERSON, THEIR LIVES DEPEND ON YOUR CALCULATION. You get one shot at this
and if you hit the ground than you lose a point on your lab.
7. Holding the mass at the height of the table (while loosely holding the string unstretched above
it) drop the mass. It should miss the ground and come very close to it.