Science Fair Experiments

Determining the Relationship between Lift and Wind Speed


The objective: To determin the relationship between added weight and wind velocity on an airplane.


A wind tunnel was built to simulate the effects of wind. A model airplane was suspended at one end of the wind tunnel, and the fan was installed on the opposite end.

The wind speed was calibrated using an aeronometer designed for the project.

The aeronometer consisted of a dial controlling wind speed in degrees, from zero to 360.

The minimal amount of counterweight needed to suspend the plane was determined and set. The counterbalance weight was increased in increments of 2.5 grams (one penny dated after 1985), and the wind speed was adjusted using the increments on the aeronometer.

Tests were performed at 21 different wind speed settings. Materials used included an aerodynamically Correct Model Airplane (has the ability to fly, a Wind Tunnel, Weight Set (I used pennies dated after 1985, each weighs 2.5 grams, Aeronometer (I found relative wind speed using circle graph on dimmer switch) and a Counter Weight (Used water to keep airplane suspended).


When the weight of the plane was increased by 2.5 grams, the wind speed would need to be increase by about 5o on the dial. Each time we added weight, we had to increase the wind velocity for the plane to rise. We started at 300 grams of water to emulate the plane hovering in air. We found the minimal wind velocity needed for the plane to fly without added weight, 170 degrees.


I discovered the weight added and the amount of wind speed required to lift the plane varied directly with each other. When added weight is increased, the wind velocity must be increased for the plane to rise. Using linear regression, the equation for the relationship between the wind speed and the added weight was determined to be:

y = 2.17x + 172.32

Where: y = wind speed needed lift the plane, as represented by degrees on the circle (aeronometer)

This project was about Testing the relationship between wind velocity and added weight on an airplane.

Science Fair Project done By Diego McDonald



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