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  • Writer's pictureWTS Sacramento

October 2018 iFly Field Trip!

On October 23, Transportation You took a group of female students to iFLY in Roseville. The iFLY educations introduced STEM concepts related to the wind tunnel including:

  • What forces are at work on objects in the wind tunnel? When are they balanced or unbalanced?

  • How does an object's shape and size affect its velocity and stability in the wind tunnel?

  • We observe a ball demonstration and predicted how fast each ball will fly in the wind tunnel, tested our predictions, and discussed the results.

The students learned how the iFLY wind tunnel works. A vertical wind tunnel has fans at the top to draw air through the flight chamber and then push it back down the sides through Return Air Towers (RATs). The air is 'turned' from the RATs into the bottom of the tunnel and back up toward the flight chamber through an inlet contractor. The inlet contractor reduces the space the air can travel in, thus compressing and speeding up the air before it reenters the flight chamber. The entire building is used for the tunnel system. The result is a smooth column of air that enables flight.

Each student was able to experience the wind tunnel for herself and fly. We were trained by certified flight instructors and learned the correct body position, hand signals and safety rules. After

learning about drag and how drag affects stability, we were able to experience how our body position affects our flight and the importance of keeping our "draggy parts" behind us. Each flier

was outfitted in flight suits, safety goggles, ear plugs and helmets. The new fliers were amazing.

After the incredible experience of flying, the hungry Fliers enjoyed lunch at In-N-Out before returning to school.

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