Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Conics and Paragliders
Name: Kristyn A.
Status: Student
Age: 17
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: June 2004


Question:
I am doing a math project in which I need to apply how a conic ellipse affects paragliders. I cannot find any such information on the web and was wondering if you could provide me with some useful information. I'd like to know why ellipses are needed for paragliders and how the size and shape effect the flight of paragliders.



Replies:
I do not know how conic ellipses affect paragliders. The question is not clear.

The only thing I can imagine is that a paraglider has a certain shape when it is flying. That shape might be similar to part of a conic ellipse. The actual shape of a paraglider is determined by its construction and the length of the suspension lines. Thus there is nothing intrinsically mathematical about a paraglider. The effect of shape on flight is the realm of aerodynamics. That is very complicated!

Bob Erck



Click here to return to the Engineering Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory