Asian American Heritage

Meet the Wright Brothers
Inventing the Plane
Build a Plane


  Build a Plane
  CHOICE ONE – Wing shape (Lift)

What shape will you make the wings?

A or B
Flat and even on the top and bottom.   Flat on the bottom and curved on the top.
Physics Fact
Lift is the force that holds a plane in the air. You might be wondering, how can a wing float on nothing? Well, air is actually a physical substance; it's a mixture of several gases (including oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen) and it has lots of molecules moving around. Even though you can't see those molecules, they have a weight and can exert pressure on a kite or a balloon or a plane. In order to have the most lift, airplane wings are shaped so that the air flows faster on top of the wing than underneath. The faster air moves, the less pressure it has, so the slower-moving air underneath the wings creates more pressure and pushes the wing up. In order for a plane to fly, it has to have enough lift to overcome its weight, also known as gravity.

Wright Fact
In 1901, the Wright brothers grew frustrated with the results of their experiments. The gliders didn't fly as long or as far as they expected them to. Plus, most of the landings were crash landings, so the Wright brothers had to bring the glider back to the shop to fix it before it could be flown again. Finally, Orville and Wilbur built a small wind tunnel out of a wooden box and a gas powered fan. They placed model metal wings inside the wind tunnel and measured how well they lifted with a scale and balance. This way they were able to find the best wing shape without crashing real planes!