Asian American Heritage

Meet the Wright Brothers
Inventing the Plane
Build a Plane


  Build a Plane
  CHOICE THREE – Steering (Control)

How will you control your plane?

A or B
The pilot will lie in the middle of the plane and slide his body left and right, using his weight to turn the wings and shift the rudder.   The pilot will pull on cables, which will raise and lower the wing tips in opposite directions and shift the rudder.

Physics Fact
When you drive a car, you can only steer right or left, but when you fly a plane, you can turn right or left, and also up and down. This makes steering a plane pretty complicated. Scientists and pilots call movements up and down as "pitch" and movements left and right as "yaw." Often in order to make a turn, a pilot will actually roll the plane sideways as well as turn the plane's nose in a new direction. Early gliders crashed often because the pilots tried to steer with just their body weight. Unlike cars, most planes today can fly tipped sideways, and some can even fly upside down!

Wright Fact
Wilbur came up with many of his flying ideas by watching buzzards soar along the cliffs of the Great Miami River in Dayton, Ohio. Wilbur noticed how the birds adjusted their direction by changing the shape and position of their wings. To make a turn, the birds would turn one wing tip up and one wing tip down. Wilbur went home and experimented by twisting a long, thin cardboard box the same way.