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Let's Fly!- Celebrating National Aviation Month Vol.6 #6

Our Posterity = Our Children

Posterity comes from Middle English posterite, from Anglo-French pusterite, from Latin posterus ("coming after")


November is National Aviation month and it's a perfect time to let your students imaginations take flight! This month helps us to remember and celebrate the contributions and achievements of people who designed and improved these flying machines.

Innovators and Their Machines

By no means were the Wright Brothers the first to dream, design and build the first flying machine, but they did change the way it could be controlled. According to the Birth of, "Their first U.S. patent, 821,393, did not claim invention of a flying machine, but rather, the invention of a system of aerodynamic control that manipulated a flying machine’s surfaces." In short, they no longer had to use their body weight in order to manipulate the direction of the plane!

Before the Wright Brothers began their flights at Kitty Hawk, there were many other innovators that were experimenting and testing different types of flying designs.

Check out some of these not so well known contributors to aviation and its development.

Sir George Cayley- built his first flying machine in 1796. Cayley was the first to understand the importance of streamlining, cambered wings, and pilot-controlled rudders and elevators.

Otto Lilienthal- was a German aviator who had over 2,000 successful flights some reaching 800 feet into the air! Photos of him circled around the world and he is credited with inspiring a whole generation of aviators.

Bessie Coleman- was the first woman of African-American and Native American descent to hold a pilots license. She was denied entry to flight school in the United States, so she traveled to France where she gained her international pilot's license.

For more information on these and other little known aviators go to


What needs to happen for a plane to take


Forces that affect things that fly:

  • Weight is the force of gravity. It acts in a downward direction—toward the center of the Earth.

  • Lift is the force that acts at a right angle to the direction of motion through the air. Lift is created by differences in air pressure.

  • Thrust is the force that propels a flying machine in the direction of motion. Engines produce thrust.

  • Drag is the force that acts opposite to the direction of motion. Drag is caused by friction and differences in air pressure.

Go to the How Things Fly website for more information on these forces and to learn more about the affect they have on a plane!




Engineering Activities




Let's Make a Paper Airplane!

Let's help our children understand how the four forces make airplanes fly by having an airplane flying contest! You will need things like:




paper clip

tape measure

You can have your children go to the Paper Plane where they can research different styles of paper planes and choose the one they think will stay in the air the longest and fly the farthest.

For more information on this activity visit


#STEAM is our Approach

#LEARNING is our Goal We are Bright & Smart

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