Weight and Drag Investigation
By: Kaven Wijeyekoon 9F
How Does The Weight Affect The Speed Of A Falling Parachute?
Explanation Of Science
Input/ Independant Variable
Outcome/ Dependant Variables
Surface Area- We will keep the surface area of the parachute the same every time by using the same parachute, the surface area of the parachute will be 2500cm2, which is 50cm by 50cm. We will also use 55cm string to attach the parachute and weights, having the same length chords will help keep the parachute stable in flight.
- Assembled parachute (2500cm2)
- Digital Stop Watch
- Measuring Tape (To measure height of the fall)
- You may also need paperclips and tape to help you with your parachute
- Set up your parachute with a 10g weight
- Drop your parachute from 7.85 m
- Repeat test 3 times
- Add a 10g weight to your parachute
- Drop your parachute from the same position, 7.85m
- Repeat test 3 times
- Repeat steps 4-6 3 more times
Raw Results/ Data Collection
We used the same parachute meaning it had the same surface area which was 2500cm2
As well as the surface area, the 4 chords attaching our parachute were each 55cm long, this would have kept the parachute balanced.
Conclusion and Evaluation
In conclusion, my results show that the heavier parachute was, the faster it fell. The speed increased by around 30 m/s every time we added 10g to the parachute. Through the experiment, I also learnt about how the wind speed affects the fall of the parachute, and I observed that the heavier the parachute was, the less it was affected and moved by the wind.
- We collected our results throughout 2 lessons, therefore, the circumstances were different like the rain and the windspeed.
- After being in the rain for a while, the parachute got wet and this would have affected the results as it would have been heavier.
- We timed the tests ourselves, meaning that the timings could have been inaccurate
- We should have done the tests during 1 lesson, to make sure the variables were the same.
- We could have wiped the parachute, but the water on the parachute would not make a significant change to the result, therefore it was unnecessary.
- We could have used an electronic, more accurate timer which started at release and stopped as soon as the parachute touched the ground, although we do not have this equipment and it would have taken a while to set up, so it was probably better to just time the tests with a stop watch.