Because 2,000 ping pong balls and 30 middle-school teachers floating in “zero gravity” isn’t something you see everyday, the kids should watch (or rewatch!) this 2010 ScienceBob video. From northropgrumman.com:
Zero gravity flights are performed using a specially modified aircraft, an FAA approved aircraft called G-Force One. The maneuvers are conducted in dedicated airspace 100 miles long by 10 miles wide. Specially trained pilots fly the aircraft in a series of maneuvers called parabolas, or arcs, between the altitudes of 24,000 and 32,000 feet.
At the beginning of each parabola, the aircraft climbs at a 45-degree angle. At the “top” of the parabola, the aircraft is “pushed over” into a controlled descent that creates a temporary zero-gravity environment. The teacher flights include approximately 15 parabolas ranging from low-gravity environments typical of the moon (1/6th G) or Mars (1/3 G) to complete weightlessness. At the end of each “weightless” period, which lasts approximately 30 seconds, the aircraft is gradually pulled out of the descent, reestablishing a more normal gravity environment inside the plane.
Related videos: exploding ping pong balls and more gravity (or lack of it).
Space Shuttle Discovery, atop its Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, NASA 905, is shown from various vantage points around the National Capital region on April 17 on the final leg of its ferry flight from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Dulles International Airport in Virginia.
A bittersweet flight — but what an amazing view! This video was shot by the T-38 Chase Aircraft that was following the shuttle. You can see the National Mall in Washington DC at 40s and again at 7m25s. You can also see what Discovery’s last flight and landing looked like from the ground, from CBS News.
Previously: Riding the Boosters of the Space Shuttle.
The world record for longest throw of a paper airplane has been broken.
Joe Ayoob throws a John Collins design, officially breaking the world record by 19 feet, 6 inches. The new world record, once verified by Guinness, will be 226 feet, 10 inches. The current record is 207 feet and 4 inches set by Stephen Kreiger in 2003.
Ayoob was a quarterback for two seasons at Cal and played three years of arena football as a professional, so he knows about throwing… and knows about paper airplanes: he used to make them and throw them while he walked home from school as a kid! The airplane’s designer, John Collins, is known as The Paper Airplane Guy and has studied both origami and aerodynamics.
“A lot of people could throw this plane and get some pretty crazy distance out of it,” Ayoob said. “But in order to achieve the distances we were trying to reach, it took a pretty precise throw, and it took a lot of strength. … There’s a lot of finesse involved, so it’s kind of blending power, balance and control while you’re throwing this fragile, little paper airplane.”
More details on ESPN’s Page 2.
The test flight of a Windrider RC Boeing 737-700 in the winds of Hong Kong.