Introduction to Airplane Design

Learn science by studying flight and designing and building aircraft. Go
beyond just facts, have math and science learning takeoff and soar! Get an
easy to use software package providing days and weeks of exciting learning.

Designs & Tips Guides Reviews Book Resources Other Ed Web Sites

Program teaches students and novices airplane design science and engineering principles

About Program / Content / Lessons Package / System Requirements / Pricing and Ordering


Featured Aircraft & Glider Designs, Tips, and Ideas

Use these tips to help you design and build your giders and aircraft

Feb 97 Design March 97 Design April 97 Design May 97 Design June 97 Design
July 97 Tips Aug 97 Tips Sept 97 Tips Oct 97 Tips Nov 97 Tips
Dec 97 Tips Jan 98 Tips Feb 98 Tips March 98 Idea April 98 Tips
May 98 Idea June 98 Idea July 98 Design Aug 98 Design Sept 98 Tips
Oct 98 Material Tips Nov 98 Propeller Dec 98 Preflight Jan 99 Flight Tip Feb 99 Paper Airplane
Mar 99 Airfoil Apr 99 Ballast May 99 Straw Glider June 99 Stick Glider July 99 Design
Aug 99 Trim Sept 99 AOA Oct 99 Material Tips Nov 99 Wing Tips Dec 99 Tail Design
Jan 00 Wing Tips Feb 00 Hover Craft Mar 00 Glider Skins Apr 00 Lift May 00 Tips
June 00 Glide Tips July 00 Design Aug 00 Wings Sept 00 V-Tail Oct 00 Double-Tail
Nov 00 Rubber Engines Dec 00 Power Jan 01 Prop Size Feb 01 Tail Mt Mar 01 Wing Tips
Apr 01 Thermals May 01 Material Tip June 01 Prop Speed July 01 Biplane Aug 01 Nose Cone
Sept 01 Up Wash Oct 01 Fuselage Nov 01 Airflow Dec 01 Turbulators Jan 02 Kites
Feb 02 Tri-Tail Mar 02 High Wing Apr 02 Flip Tail May 02 Bernoulli June 02 Dihedral
July 02 Scale Effects Aug 02 Trim Adjust Sept 02 Flight Tip Oct 02 Reflex Nov 02 Launcher
Dec 02 Prop Blades Jan 03 Payload Feb 03 Straw Aircraft Mar 03 Seeds Apr 03 Birds

List end for now (2004-2012) but look for more entries in the future

Do you have a design or tip that you would like to see displayed here? If so, please e-mail us at "RealScience@Seeds2Learn.com " and include your graphic as an e-mail attachment. We are always looking for great ideas and good designs and may add to this list at any time in the near future.

Airplane Design & Build Guides

Paper Airplane Building Guide (Upgrade 02/01 - Requires Password to Open - Acrobat PDF - 436K)

Download detailed instructions on how to build great paper airplanes from your computer designs. This document is more advanced than the basic build guides provided with the software package. It provides expert information for older students to use, and to help parents and teachers give guidance to younger students who are building their designs. You must have the document password that is provided with the software package in the PaperBuildGuide to open this document. If you have an earlier version of our software (before Feb'01) that did not provide the password, contact us by e-mail with your name and contact information to obtain the password (we do not give out any contact information to others).

Rubberband Powered Aircraft Design Guide (Upgrade 10/02 - Requires Password to Open - Acrobat PDF - 120K)

Download detailed instructions on how to design great rubber band propeller powered aircraft with our computer software. This supplement is more advanced than the basic design guide in the software package. It provides technical information that older students can use to take much of the guess work out of the design process of adding propeller power, and will help parents and teachers give guidance to younger students who are building their designs. You must have the document password that is provided with the software package in the PwrFlightGuide to open this document. If you have an earlier version of our software (before Feb'01) that did not provide the password, contact us by e-mail with your name and contact information to obtain the password (we do not give out any contact information to others).

High Loft Aircraft Construction (Upgrade 08/01- Requires Password to Open - Acrobat PDF - 36K)

Aircraft wings and tails made out of foam board or balsa wood are easy and quick to assemble and are ideal for home or classroom projects. For many competitions however, foam wings and tails are often not allowed and balsa wood is too heavy for optimum performance. This supplement provides you with simple details on how to use the software to design aircraft with wings and tails that have tissue skins and a stick framework of supporting stiffeners (ribs and spars). Such construction can be very light -- which is one of the keys to getting those long loft times that win rubber band propeller powered aircraft competitions. Use this document to determine the material properties to use in the software for analysis and design. You must have the document password to open this document. This document is provided as a free update for those that have an earlier version of our airplane design software (before Aug'01). You will need to contact us by e-mail with your name and contact information to obtain the password (we do not give out any contact information to others). If you purchased a more recent version of our software, the document is included on the CD in the powered flight folder, and there is no need to download this document.

Critical Software Reviews:

* Recommended by CITC (California Instructional Technology Clearinghouse) as a high quality instructional technology resource which supports California's curriculum framework and standards.

* Recommended by the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse (featured in Focus, vol.6, no.2)

* Review by Mike Fitzgerald (Driver Middle School, Winchester, IN) for TechDirections: "Introduction to Airplane Design by Seeds Software is perhaps one of the best resources I have seen yet for the instruction of basic aerospace principles. I highly recommend it for classroom use if you do any instruction or projects related to aircraft... This is one resource that is a must-have!"

Book Resource Recommendations:

Magic School Bus Taking Flight: A Book About Flight by Scholastic Books
A true story with accurate though limited information. An excellent introduction for primary students to some of the issues involved with flying. Highly entertaining and engaging so that students are curious to learn more. Paperback(4-8 yr olds)
Buy it now from Amazon!

Planes Gliders Helicopters and other Flying Machines (How Things Work) by Terry Jennings
Thorough yet simplified resource with more in depth look at the issues involved in flying. The design issues are well presented through the pattern analysis of differing machines which fly. Includes simple experiments to promote student mastery of core underlying principles. Paperback (9-12 yr olds) Buy it now from Amazon!

The Bishop's Boys : A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright by Tom D. Crouch
Synopsis: The story of Wilbur and Orville's incredible breakthrough flight innovations and how they accomplished them by using ingenuity and scientific inquiry. It is inspirational and soaring yet well grounded in life and worldly struggle, being both riveting and revealing. Paperback-Photographs (high school or college reading) Buy it now from Amazon!

Illustrated Guide to Aerodynamics (2nd Ed) by H.C. Smith
Synopsis: Aerodynamics put into accurate but easy to understand terms. Includes the basics plus coverage of power, climb rates, takeoff velocities, the steps of aircraft design, and advances in design configurations. Paperback-Illustrations (recreactional pilots and flight school students) Buy it now from Amazon!

Books on Airplane Design by Roskam
Synopsis: Some of our friends are airplane buffs and have designed, built, and now pilot their own aircraft. They recommend the books by Roskam and his staff as a good place to start. There are a whole series of books (parts 1 to 8) available besides the books listed here that provide details of each step of the design process. Hardcover (hobby buffs that want to build and pilot their own aircraft) Aerodynamics & Performance Sizing Configuration Weight


You may contact Seeds Software at:

Seeds Software, 5694 Mission Center Rd #140, San Diego, CA 92108

Ph:(206)-782-0914, Fax: (206)-782-0918

E-mail: Questions & Support to "RealScience@Seeds2Learn.com"



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