Transcript for NASA Connect - Problem Solving - The Wright Math

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[Music]

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[Speaker] At some point
everyone dreams of flying.

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To physically elevate
themselves above the environment.

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To fly was a dream of
mine when I was a kid.

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This is what I do today.

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Hi. I'm John Herrington NASA crew
member of STS-113 and I'm also

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of member of the Chickesaw
Nation of Oklahoma.

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Every culture and every
civilization throughout recorded

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history has a mythology
involving human flight.

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One of the best known legends of
human flight is the Greek story

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of Icarus who tried to
escape from an island prison

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by using wings made
of wax and feathers.

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Icarus flew too close to
the sun and the wax melted

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and he fell into the sea.

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Ancient Chinese records speak
of human attempts to sail

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through the air by
attaching themselves to kites.

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In today's pop culture flight is
common among comic book superheros.

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In numerous Native American
cultures celebrate flight

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in the traditional dances but it
was only about a hundred years ago

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that the problems of
powered flight were overcome

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and human beings finally
took to the sky.

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In this episode of NASA CONNECT,
host Jennifer Pulley will take you

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on a journey to find out how
mankind first learned to fly.

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You'll discover some secrets

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to the Wright Brothers
success a hundred years ago.

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In your classroom you will
build your own flying machines

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and evaluate the performance.

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You'll also learn how NASA
engineers are developing new

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technologies for the
next century of flight

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and you will explore the web
to follow in the footsteps

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of the Wrights with some
cool interactive activity.

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All in this episode
of NASA CONNECT.

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[Music]

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[Jennifer] Hi.

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I'm Jennifer Pulley and
welcome to NASA CONNECT,

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the show that connects you to math,

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science, technology, and NASA.

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I'm here at the Wright
Brothers national memorial

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on the outer banks
of North Carolina.

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This is where Orville and Wilbur
Wright flew their first airplane

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100 years ago.

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[Speaker] I read that there are
many inventors besides the Wright

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Brothers trying to
invent the airplane.

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[Jennifer] It's true.

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Many famous inventors
including Alexander Graham Bell,

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Thomas Edison, machine
gun inventor Hiram Maxim

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and Samuel Langley, the secretary
of the Smithsonian Institution,

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had all attempted to
build flying machines.

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[Speaker] My teacher said that the
Wright Brothers didn't have high

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school diplomas and didn't have
a lot of money to work with.

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Is that true?

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[Jennifer] They were both
good students in school,

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and Wilbur completed all the
courses he needed to in order

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to graduate high school.

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He just never picked up his degree.

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Both Wilbur and Orville loved
to read outside the classroom

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and you're right they really
didn't have a lot of money to work

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with but the Wright
Brothers figured out how

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to conduct their experiements
without spending a lot of money.

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They were able to support
all their experiements

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through their day jobs,
their small bicycle shop.

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[Student] So how come it
was the Wright Brothers

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who invented the airplane?

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[Jennifer] You know,
that's a good question.

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Why was it that these two
little known bicycle mechanics

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from Dayton, Ohio succeeded
where so many other famous

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and successful inventors
had failed?

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Well, to help find the answer
to that question we spoke

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with Dr. Tom Crouch, senior
curator of the division

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of aeronautics at the
National Air and Space Museum.

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Dr. Crouch, what -- what was the
Wright Brothers secret to success?

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[Dr. Crouch] Jennifer, they were
brilliant, intuitive engineers.

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In order to invent the airplane,
they had to come up with a process

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of invention, a way to
solve really difficult,

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technical problems.

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Today we call it the
engineering method.

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The first thing that the Wright
Brothers did correctly was

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to define the problem.

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The Wright Brothers studied the
experiments of other inventors

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and quickly realized that many of
them were missing the true problem.

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The Wright Brothers saw that the
true problem would be maintaining

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balance and control
in their machine.

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Many other experimenters
were convinced

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that an airplane could only
be successful if it relied

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on some method of
automatic stability.

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They thought it would be impossible
for a pilot to react quickly to all

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of the changes that might
happen to an airplane in flight.

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They thought that it would be like
balancing on the head of a pen,

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which is impossible to do.

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The Wright Brothers
saw things differently.

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They were bicycle builders and
bicycle riders, and they drew

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on that experience
when they thought

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about controlling an airplane.

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Imagine that you're trying to
describe how you ride a bicycle

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to a Martian or to someone
that has never seen one.

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You might talk about
riding downhill

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on a tiny seat first the top
two very narrow spinning tires,

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in addition to which, you have
these pedals you are going to have

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to work and a handlebar to steer
with and you are going to have

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to coordinate all of
that at the same time.

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[Jennifer] You know, I can see
how the person you were talking

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to would think they'd have to
be the world's greate acrobat

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to ride something like that.

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[Dr. Crouch] That's right.

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But the Wright Brothers knew
that you internalize the business

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of riding a bicycle and they
knew the same thing would happen

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with an airplane.

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You would learn to fly an
airplane, do it automatically.

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[Jennifer] So, the Wright Brothers
then correctly defined the problem?

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[Dr. Crouch] Yes.

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They knew that control
was the problem.

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So the Wright Brothers observed
the movements of the soaring birds

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to see if they could figure out how

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to control themselves in the air.

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They thought they
detected subtle ways

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that soaring birds altered
their wings to maintain balance

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but the Wrights were stumped

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as to how they could duplicate the
organic movements of a bird's wing

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in a very mechanical
flying machine.

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[Jennifer] Which brings
to the next step

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in the engineering
method: Proposed solutions.

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Tom, what solutions did the
Wright Brothers propose?

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[Dr. Crouch] They really struggled

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with how they could control
the geometry of their wing

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to control the motion
of the flying machine.

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Until one day, Wilbur was in the
bicycle shop and a customer came in

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and asked for bicycle tube for
his tire and Wilbur took it

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out in a box just like this one
and he was fiddling with the box,

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standing there talking and
it suddenly occurred to him

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that the answer to their
problem was right in his hand.

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Wilbur noticed that if he put the
thumb and forefinger of one hand

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on these two diagonal corners
and the thumb and forefinger

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of the other hand on the opposite
diagonal corners the he could

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squeeze the box back and forth.

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He noticed that the box twisted.

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In his mind, Wilbur pictured
the top and bottom of the box

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as the wings of a biplane.

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With the simple system of cables
he could draw the corners together

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turning one set of wing
tips up in the wind

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and the other set
of wing tips down.

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He realized in this way he could
control the shape of his wings

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and would be able to roll
his aircraft in the sky.

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[Jennifer] Okay.

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So, now the Wright Brothers
have a proposed solution work

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their biplane wings.

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Using the engineering
method, the next step would be

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to evaluate their solution
using tests and prototypes.

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In other words, the
Wright Brothers needed

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to put their wing warping
theory to the test.

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[Dr. Crouch] That's
right, Jennifer.

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They didn't begin by building
a powered flying machine.

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They had to start by building
and testing prototypes.

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And they started with
this small biplane kite.

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Watch how this prototype flies.

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Notice when you the pull on the
opposite strings, the kite rolls

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to the left and right.

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The wing twisting
concept Wilbur proposed

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from the inner tube box actually
worked in his prototype kite.

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[Jennifer] So, from the
success of their kite,

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the Wright Brothers built
the first powered airplane?

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[Dr. Crouch] Now, first they
built a series of three gliders

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over three years and what
they learned helped them

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to build the world's
first powered airplane.

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[Jennifer] Hey, that
leads us to the final step

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in the engineering method.

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Select and refine
the best solution.

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And in order to learn how
the Wright Brothers refined

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and improved their flying machines,

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we are here at The Wright
experience laboratory in Virginia.

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We're talking with Ken Hyde.

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He's the founder of
The Wright Experience.

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Now, Ken, tell me.

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How did the Wright Brothers improve
upon their flying machine designs.

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[Ken] Well with each new design
and each new flight test,

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they did small refinements and
small changes to their design.

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There may have been many
problems at any given stage

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of the flying machine's development

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but the Wrights only
changed one thing at a time.

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They were never confused

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about which change was
causing which result.

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[Jennifer] Ken, that
makes sense I mean

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that way they could select
the changes that worked

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and then continue to
refine their design.

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[Ken] That's right and
Jennifer this is the result

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of all their hard work.

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This is a flying reproduction
of the 1902 glider.

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[Jennifer] Ken, this
is quite different

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from their original kite, isn't it.

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[Ken] Not really it uses the
same principle of wing morphing

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and wing twisting that they
used in the original kite.

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But what was so important
and so radically different

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about this glider from
their early designs was

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that the 1902 glider was
the first aircraft ever

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that solved the problem
of controlling an airplane

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in all three axis:
Pitch, role and yaw.

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Okay Jennifer, this is
the control for elevator

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which controls the
pitch which is the up

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and down movement of the aircraft.

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Control roll, I can shift the
hip cradle back-and-forth.

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Watch how the wings twist.

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That would change the roll position
of the aircraft during flight.

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But also wired into the hip
cradle is the control for yaw.

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Watch how the tale
moves at the same time

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that the wings are warping.

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[Jennifer] This is so cool
but can you really fly this?

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[Ken] Absolutely.

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We have a 1902 simulator
that you can fly.

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Come on. I'll show you.

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Jennifer, this is our 1902 glider
simulator and it was developed

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from the wind tunnel test
that we did on this machine.

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Bill Hadden is our expert on
this and he is a good instructor

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and he is going to
check you out on this

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and tell you about the machine.

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[Jennifer] Great.

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Nice to meet you Bill.

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[Bill] Hi, Jennifer.

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[Jennifer] Tell me
about the simulator.

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[Bill] This was based on the
wind tunnel numbers generated

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by taking our full-scale
glider and putting it

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in the Langley full-scale tunnel
in Hampton, Virginia operated

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by Old Dominion University
and the results

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of the wing tunnel test were
incorporated in flight simulator

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by Burle Applied Research,

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that's their business
making flight simulators.

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So, when you fly the simulator,

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you are flying actual
wind tunnel data results.

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So, that's a lot of fun
would you like to try it?

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[Jennifer] I thought
you would never ask.

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I would love to try it.

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[Bill] Okay.

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Jennifer, on the left you see air
speed in knots that is 21 knots,

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22 that's perfect right there.

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Air speed control is critical.

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If you get too slow it
will stall and too fast,

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it can dive into the ground.

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It's just elevator
control and hip cradle.

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When you move the hip cradle,
you are warping the wings

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to control roll and you are also
getting rutter movement with it.

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[Jennifer] Well, it
took some practice

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and it wasn't real comfortable
but I think I got the hip thing

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and the elevator thing going.

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I was finally able to make a glide
that lasted about 63 seconds.

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Thank you so much, Bill.

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[Bill] You're welcome.

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[Ken] Well, how was it Jennifer?

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[Jennifer] Oh, Ken,
it was incredible.

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It was incredible.

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I'll tell you it was a little
uncomfortable and it was kind

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of difficult to maneuver
but I can really relate

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to how the Wright
Brothers must have felt.

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They had a lot of stamina in
order to be able to do this.

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[Ken] They sure did.

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In this 1902 glider all
of their innervations are

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in this machine is what
they were striving for.

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By 1903, the Wrights were ready
to add an engine and propellers.

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The Wright Brothers break
through in propeller design came

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when they realized that a
propeller was merely a wing

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in rotation in a henicle
pattern creating lift

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in a forward direction.

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Once they saw the
propeller from this way,

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they were able their wind
tunnel data about lift, drag,

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to design an efficient propeller.

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Jennifer, we also have a simulator
of the 1903 Kitty Hawk flier.

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Would you like fly this machine?

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[Jennifer] Of course, I would, Ken.

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Now while I take flight on the
1903 simulator why don't you check

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out how to build your own flying
machine and test its performance.

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[Student] Hi.

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We're students here at the
Dunseith Indian Day School here

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at the Turtle Mountain
reservation in North Dakota.

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[Students] Yeah.

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[Student] In ancient America
our ancestor Jim took flight

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and we celebrated this dream
through our dancers and stories

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because American Indians
have always been fascinated

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by the flight of the powerful
eagle and the graceful butterfly.

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[Student] NASA CONNECT asked
us Dunseith Indian Day School

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to show you this program
hands-on activity.

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[Speaker] You can download a lesson
guide and a list of materials

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on the NASA CONNECT website.

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[Speaker] Here are
the main objectives.

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[Speaker] Students
will predict the effect

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of kite sail area on kite flight.

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Measure the base and
height of the kite.

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Use reflections to create kites.

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Calculate area of a trapezoid.

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Calculate aspect ratio.

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Understand how early flight
was influenced by kites.

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[Student] Here are some
things you will need to know.

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[Speaker] The span of a kite is the
widest distance from side to side.

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Aspect ratio is the ratio
of the square of the span

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to the area of the kite.

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Drag is a force that pushes against
an object and slows it down.

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Lift is the aerodynamic force
that holds an airplane in the air.

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[Speaker] Good morning, class.

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Today NASA has asked us to
investigate the size of kite sails

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to determine how area and aspect
ratio influence flight efficiency.

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[Speaker] Three kites will be
built using different measurments

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as outlined in the lesson guide.

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First hold the long ends of
a piece of 8 1/2 by 11 sheet

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of paper and fold it in half.

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Starting at the fold, measure
3.5 centimeters along the top

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of the paper and mark point A. Now,

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measure nine centimeters
along the bottom

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of the paper measuring
from the fold.

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Mark point B. Draw
a line segment, AB.

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Reflect line segment AB across the
fold line call the reflection point

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A, A prime and the
reflection of point B, B prime.

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Draw line segment A prime B prime.

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Fold back along line
segments AB and line A prime,

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B prime forming the kite shape.

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Place a piece of tape
firmly where line segment AB

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and A prime B prime meet.

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Place a skewer stick along
the span of the kite and tape

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down firmly along the entire
length of the skewer stick.

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Cut off any excess.

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Tape a kite tail to the
bottom of the kite sail

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where point B meets point B prime.

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Starting at the top of the
flap, which is labeled point F,

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measure seven centimeters
down along the flap

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and 1 centimeter in from the fold.

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Mark and label point
E. Then punch a hole

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at point E. All measurements will
be recorded on to the worksheet.

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You will calculate and record the
kite sail area using using the

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given formula: Area equals one-half
the height times the B sub 1

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and B sub 2 where H is
the height and B sub 1

[00:15:18.849]
and B sub 2 are the bases.

[00:15:21.279]
Remember to multiply the value by
two to calculate the sail area.

[00:15:25.809]
You will also calculate and record
the aspect ratio using the formula

[00:15:30.069]
AR equals S square divided
by A where S is the kite span

[00:15:34.299]
and A is the kite sail area.

[00:15:36.369]
Tie one end of the string to
the hole and wind the other end

[00:15:39.749]
on to a cardboard string winder.

[00:15:42.659]
For the other two kites, repeat
the same steps adjusting the given

[00:15:46.299]
values for point A and point B
found in the educators guide.

[00:15:50.279]
Remember your reflexions.

[00:15:52.079]
Once you have completed your
calculation it is time to proceed

[00:15:55.579]
to the outdoor test flight.

[00:15:57.449]
[Speaker] Teams are you ready?

[00:15:58.899]
Let's let them fly.

[00:16:00.179]
[Students] Yeah.

[00:16:01.849]
[Speaker] Perform two trials for
each kite rotating student rolls

[00:16:05.199]
until all three kites have
completed their two trials.

[00:16:08.999]
[Speaker] There are two
questions that we need to answer.

[00:16:10.919]
How did the surface of
the kite effect its flight

[00:16:14.039]
and was this effect significant?

[00:16:16.899]
[00:16:19.079]
[Student] The smaller kite
didn't have enough space here,

[00:16:24.029]
surface area.

[00:16:26.679]
This flew just right.

[00:16:28.459]
Had enough surface area.

[00:16:30.389]
This did too much acrobatic.

[00:16:33.159]
[Speaker] What other
factors could be changed

[00:16:35.319]
to investigate the
effect on kite flight?

[00:16:38.609]
[Speaker] Josh.

[00:16:39.739]
[Josh] Weather, windtail,
surface area and weight.

[00:16:44.159]
[Speaker] When you
complete this activity,

[00:16:45.809]
discuss what improvements you
would make to your design.

[00:16:48.739]
A helpful tool is the
interactive kite modeler

[00:16:51.569]
from NASA Glenn research center.

[00:16:53.999]
On this website, you can
study the physics and math

[00:16:57.239]
which describe the
flight of a kite.

[00:16:59.579]
You can choose from several types
of kites and change the shape,

[00:17:02.839]
size, and materials to
produce your own design.

[00:17:06.189]
By selecting the field
button, the kite flies

[00:17:08.739]
with the control line
running from you to the kite.

[00:17:11.829]
Depending upon your choice,
different variables are shown.

[00:17:15.129]
The values of these variables
are shown on the output panel.

[00:17:18.849]
The kite modeler tells you if
your design is stable or not

[00:17:22.579]
and also computes a prediction
of how high your kite will fly.

[00:17:26.999]
Teachers, if you would like help

[00:17:28.559]
to perform the preceeding
kite building lesson,

[00:17:31.149]
simply enlist the help of an
AIAA mentor who will be glad

[00:17:34.899]
to assist your class
in these activities.

[00:17:37.339]
AIAA stands for the
American Institute

[00:17:39.939]
of Aeronautics and Astronauts.

[00:17:45.149]
[Jennifer] Wow, Ken.

[00:17:45.979]
This simulator for the
1903 flier is so different

[00:17:48.909]
from the simulator
for the 1902 flier.

[00:17:51.029]
[Ken] It really is.

[00:17:52.269]
[Jennifer] Thank you so much.

[00:17:53.419]
[Ken] Thank you.

[00:17:54.319]
[Jennifer] Okay.

[00:17:54.739]
Let's review.

[00:17:55.839]
So far we have learned how
civilizations throughout history

[00:17:58.879]
have dreamt of flight.

[00:18:00.799]
We have seen how the
engineering method can be used

[00:18:03.269]
for solving complex problems
and making dreams a reality

[00:18:07.279]
and you have applied a bit of
engineering method yourself

[00:18:10.189]
by building kites and
evaluating their performance.

[00:18:13.059]
So, what does all this
have to do with NASA today?

[00:18:16.099]
Well, Anna McGowan at NASA
Langley research center

[00:18:18.669]
in Hampton Virginia has the scoop.

[00:18:21.229]
[Speaker] How can biology be
helpful in designing aircraft?

[00:18:28.039]
[Speaker] What is the relationship
between pressure and force?

[00:18:31.359]
[Speaker] Why are the
computer simulations important

[00:18:33.719]
to the aircraft design process?

[00:18:35.669]
[Anna] The Wright
Brothers discovered ways

[00:18:37.719]
to sustain control flight.

[00:18:39.279]
Today at NASA, the
challenge is to research ways

[00:18:41.939]
to make life safer
and more efficient.

[00:18:44.199]
One piece of research NASA is doing
is called the morphing project.

[00:18:48.069]
The morphing project is part
of the next generation of break

[00:18:50.859]
through vehicle technologies.

[00:18:52.799]
It's about designing
the airplane of tomorrow

[00:18:55.459]
and changing the world again

[00:18:56.819]
in the process much like the
Wright Brothers invention changed

[00:19:00.399]
the world they lived in.

[00:19:02.479]
We got the word morphing
from the word metamorphosis.

[00:19:05.789]
The word morph means to
change and we are using a lot

[00:19:08.299]
of advanced materials and
technologies to research how

[00:19:11.749]
to make airplanes change from
one configuration to the other.

[00:19:15.379]
That's what engineers
and scientists

[00:19:16.869]
in NASA's morphing
project are trying to do,

[00:19:19.279]
transform the future of flight.

[00:19:21.789]
[Student] How do you
transform the future of flight?

[00:19:24.569]
[Anna] That's a great question.

[00:19:25.879]
The Wright Brothers by
watching birds soar.

[00:19:28.819]
[Speaker] And they designed
their airplanes with wings

[00:19:30.979]
that could manipulate the wind.

[00:19:32.939]
The Wrights didn't use flaps

[00:19:34.479]
on their machines like
airplanes have today.

[00:19:37.269]
In the morphing project, we
were working on making airplanes

[00:19:40.449]
as versatile as a bird is.

[00:19:42.619]
So, we are taking
some lessons learned

[00:19:44.229]
from nature just like
the Wright Brothers did.

[00:19:47.149]
[Speaker] We're researching

[00:19:47.839]
and teatsing many
advanced technologies.

[00:19:50.359]
One area is called smart materials.

[00:19:53.399]
[Speaker] We call these
materials smart materials

[00:19:56.729]
because unlike traditional
materials,

[00:19:59.159]
these materials actually move

[00:20:00.769]
when you apply a stimlus
like are voltage or heat.

[00:20:03.979]
They are similar to muscle
tissue in this way so instead

[00:20:06.709]
of using complicated, mechanical
gears to move or control parts

[00:20:11.139]
of future airplanes,
NASA is looking

[00:20:13.599]
at using these smart materials

[00:20:15.569]
as future control
devices on airplanes.

[00:20:19.189]
Another advance technology
that we are studying is called

[00:20:21.879]
adaptive structure.

[00:20:23.529]
In studying the structures for
future flight, we're actually look

[00:20:27.249]
at technologies that can
change the shape of parts

[00:20:30.749]
of the wing during flight.

[00:20:32.479]
[Speaker] Why do you
want to change the shape

[00:20:34.359]
of the wings during flight?

[00:20:36.599]
[Anna] Well, all wings
must be able to adapt

[00:20:38.819]
to different flight conditions.

[00:20:40.579]
Birds do this by gently bending

[00:20:42.389]
and twisting their
wings while they fly.

[00:20:45.299]
In today's airplane, we're using
flaps and slats to adjust the wings

[00:20:49.769]
to different flight conditions.

[00:20:51.779]
[Speaker] In the future, we
are hoping to enable wings

[00:20:54.439]
to gently change shape in many
different ways, similar to birds.

[00:20:59.449]
This is one example of an adaptive
structure that we are working on.

[00:21:03.209]
This wing changes shape for
different flight conditions.

[00:21:07.019]
It's designed very different
from today's airplane wing.

[00:21:09.679]
Today's airplane wing
are typically hollow

[00:21:11.759]
to hold fuel they
are also very stiff.

[00:21:15.269]
This adaptive wing instead has
a center spine to carry most

[00:21:19.419]
of the load and movable ribs
to change shape during flight.

[00:21:23.789]
We design airplane wings using
the principle of pressure.

[00:21:28.259]
The following algebraic equation
should help you understand

[00:21:31.099]
this principle.

[00:21:32.339]
Pressure is defined as the
force divided by the area

[00:21:36.299]
over which the force acts.

[00:21:38.499]
The force in this case
is the aerodynamic road.

[00:21:41.909]
Have you ever popped
a balloon with a nail?

[00:21:44.309]
It's pretty easy to pop
a balloon with one nail

[00:21:47.149]
because the force applied
to the balloon is acting

[00:21:49.989]
over a very small area,
only the head of the nail.

[00:21:54.569]
This means very large measure.

[00:21:57.249]
Now, if you try to pop the
same balloon with a bed

[00:22:00.399]
of nails applying the
same amount of force,

[00:22:03.069]
notice the balloon is
very difficult to pop.

[00:22:06.089]
[Speaker] Why is that?

[00:22:06.829]
[Anna] Because if area of the
bed of nails is much larger

[00:22:10.469]
than the area of the single nail.

[00:22:11.929]
If we refer back to the
equation for pressure

[00:22:15.059]
to keep the same force applied

[00:22:16.939]
but increase the area pressure
actually becomes much lower.

[00:22:20.869]
With this adaptive wing, we
want to make sure the force

[00:22:23.819]
or the aerodynamic load
is distributed evenly

[00:22:26.989]
across the wing preventing
the wing from breaking.

[00:22:30.329]
We actually call this adaptive
wing here the fish bone wing

[00:22:33.529]
because it resembles the
spine and ribs of the fish.

[00:22:36.369]
To understand and design the fish
bone wing, the engineers here

[00:22:39.659]
at NASA use advanced
computer simulations.

[00:22:42.869]
These computer simulations help
us understand the mechanics

[00:22:45.919]
of the fish bone wing and tell
us how the wing will perform

[00:22:49.079]
in real life.

[00:22:50.289]
We are even looking at new
ways to control the air flow

[00:22:53.079]
over the wings of future airplanes.

[00:22:55.699]
The study of air flow
is called aerodynamics

[00:22:58.929]
and today's airplanes use large
flaps to control aerodynamics.

[00:23:03.259]
For future airplanes, we
are developing technologies

[00:23:06.259]
that use very small devices to
control the air flow on airplanes.

[00:23:10.689]
We call this microflow control.

[00:23:14.059]
For example, tiny fluctuating jets
that create a small plume of air

[00:23:18.689]
on the surface of the wing can
be used to make the flow smoother

[00:23:22.699]
and less turbulant
and this reduces drag.

[00:23:26.209]
By reducing drag, we
can save on fuel cost

[00:23:29.099]
and also reduce the
amount of pollution coming

[00:23:31.319]
from the airplane engines.

[00:23:32.939]
Here is an example
of one of these jets.

[00:23:35.269]
This device would suck in air
and blow out air very rapidly

[00:23:39.499]
to control the air
flow over the wing.

[00:23:41.929]
Now, several of these devices
would be placed in a wing

[00:23:44.439]
to control the air flow
over an entire wing.

[00:23:47.099]
Even this example is
similar to how a bird flies.

[00:23:50.349]
In addition to twisting and
bending their wings in flight,

[00:23:53.749]
birds also rely on their feathers

[00:23:55.639]
to adjust the air
flow over their wings.

[00:23:58.649]
Finally, we are applying
the principle of bionetics

[00:24:02.109]
in the morphing project.

[00:24:03.759]
[Student] Bio what?

[00:24:05.659]
[Speaker] Bionetics
is the abstraction

[00:24:07.719]
of good design from nature.

[00:24:09.649]
In other words, you
look at how nature works

[00:24:12.289]
for maximum achievement
at minimal efforts.

[00:24:14.929]
[Speaker] Today, we are even
examining the shape of fish fins

[00:24:17.839]
because in a way, fish are
flying through the water.

[00:24:21.839]
[Speaker] Here are several examples

[00:24:23.159]
of different fish fins
that we're studying.

[00:24:25.469]
We actually work with
marine biologists

[00:24:27.729]
to understand how the fish swim

[00:24:30.039]
and how they are really
efficient fliers.

[00:24:31.949]
[Speaker] We also study sea gulls.

[00:24:33.859]
Sea gulls can soar really well
and their unique wing shape is one

[00:24:37.309]
of the reasons they
fly so efficiently.

[00:24:40.089]
[Anna] Here is an example of a
wing that we would actually design

[00:24:43.069]
for wind tunnel testing.

[00:24:44.519]
We call this the Hyper-Elliptical
Camber Span

[00:24:48.329]
because of the really unique shape

[00:24:50.419]
and because we use ellipsis
to design this swing.

[00:24:53.599]
In the morphing project, we
take lessons learned not only

[00:24:56.689]
from biology but we also use a
lot of advanced technologies,

[00:25:00.479]
new math new approaches
and new science

[00:25:03.619]
to really make future airplanes
even safer than they are today.

[00:25:06.999]
We also want to make them
more capable and able to fly

[00:25:09.509]
in new and different ways.

[00:25:11.349]
We also want to make them more
efficient to help with pollution

[00:25:14.159]
and also reduce the cost of flying.

[00:25:16.529]
NASA's morphing project is
looking to the future and trying

[00:25:19.369]
to transform the future of flight.

[00:25:22.249]
[Jennifer] Thanks Anna.

[00:25:23.099]
Now it is time for
a cue card review.

[00:25:24.789]
How can biology be helpful
in designing aircraft?

[00:25:28.879]
What is the relationship
between pressure and force?

[00:25:32.269]
Why are computer simulations
important

[00:25:34.379]
in aircraft design process?

[00:25:36.829]
If you are watching this
on videotape you will want

[00:25:38.709]
to pause the tape to
discuss these questions.

[00:25:41.309]
Okay. Did you get all that?

[00:25:43.099]
So far we have seen how the Wright
Brothers began powered flight

[00:25:46.349]
for humans s and we have seen
how NASA is working to apply some

[00:25:49.859]
of the early principles of flight
that the Wright Brothers perfected.

[00:25:53.569]
You know aeronautics sure
has seen a lot of changes

[00:25:56.259]
in the last 100 years.

[00:25:57.839]
Let's visit Dan Jerrell
and his web domain.

[00:25:59.919]
[Dan] Hi and welcome to my domain.

[00:26:07.279]
The U.S. centenial flight commision
was created by the U.S. Congress

[00:26:11.359]
to serve as a national and
international source of information

[00:26:14.849]
about activities to
commemorate the centennial

[00:26:17.269]
of the first powered flight.

[00:26:19.069]
On this site, you can
learn about America's plans

[00:26:21.909]
for celebrating the
100th anniversary

[00:26:24.259]
of the first Wright Brother flight.

[00:26:26.459]
Check out the sights
and sounds section

[00:26:28.379]
where you will see pictures
and download movies.

[00:26:30.719]
There are hot links
to cool websites

[00:26:32.909]
about aeronautics and astronautics.

[00:26:35.329]
This site is a repository for many
things related to the Wrights.

[00:26:39.159]
For educators, there are there
are several links to activities

[00:26:41.899]
that encourage educators
and students

[00:26:44.259]
to explore the Wright Brothers
flight experiments and to research,

[00:26:48.009]
plan, and participate
in your own centennial

[00:26:50.969]
of flight activites and events.

[00:26:53.469]
There are also cool downloads for
posters featuring famous firsts

[00:26:57.229]
and spectacular images from
aviation history to present day

[00:27:01.049]
and now back to you Jennifer.

[00:27:04.019]
[Jennifer] Well, that wraps up
another episode of NASA CONNECT.

[00:27:10.939]
We would like to thank everyone who
helped make this program possible.

[00:27:13.849]
Got a comment question
or suggestion?

[00:27:16.899]
E-mail them to
connect@larc.nasa.gov or pick

[00:27:21.599]
up a pen and mail
them to NASA CONNECT,

[00:27:24.609]
NASA Center for Distance Learning,
NASA Langley Research Center,

[00:27:28.059]
Mail Stop 400, Hampton,
Virginia 23681.

[00:27:32.139]
Teachers, if you would like
a videotape of this program

[00:27:34.709]
and the accompanying lesson guide,
check out the NASA CONNECT website.

[00:27:38.899]
So, until next time
stay connected to math,

[00:27:42.179]
science, technology and NASA.

[00:27:44.869]
See you then.

[00:27:45.269]
[Music]

[00:27:45.269]