Parts of an airplane.

The first in our series of airplane lessons is on parts of the plane.

Here’s a website that has a great picture of a plane with all the parts labeled: http://www.allstar.fiu.edu/aero/fltmidparts.htm

The FAA also has two handouts – one on the parts of a plane and one on the parts of the instrument panel in the cockpit. It is here: http://www.faa.gov/education/educator_resources/curriculum/main_part_of_airplane/media/mainpart.pdf

First I printed out the FAA’s pages. Then I scanned them back into my computer so I could play with them. I did a few things to them. First, I made the plane and instrument panel bigger. Then I blanked out the words that describe each part, so instead there were only lines. Can you guess what we are doing today? I laminated them so we can use them over and over, because I imagine this is going to be one of those activities my son will enjoy.

So we started the day by looking online at the color picture of the plane with the parts labeled. Then we moved onto the FAA’s pages. We first looked at all the parts of the plane. Then we grabbed all the toy planes we could find and named their parts, according to the FAA’s definitions. That was fun. I didn’t realize how many planes we had in the house.

Then we did our quiz – could we name all the parts of the plane on our own? We sure could! We had a few pronunciation issues – and who wouldn’t with words like airfoil and stuff. But Nicholas did fine. Yes, he’s only 4. But when he’s sure he

Here’s our “cockpit” where we flew the plane. We also gave all the instruments their correct names and used them as best we could.

wants to do something, he can do it.

Lastly, we made a cockpit panel out of cardboard. We both decided we’d like to fly the plane, so we took the FAA’s picture and made one on cardboard. It was interesting to be directed by my 4 year old on my drawing of the instrument panel. He had no problems telling me what went where. Then we sat down, pretended we were pilots and named all our instruments.

Then we got to “fly” our plane. For the better part of an hour we flew our plane.

We did one more thing – a “Propeller or Jet” plane test. I know he knows the difference because we go by the local airport all the time and talk about the difference. So we, once again, pulled all his toy planes out and I made him sort them by whether they were propeller planes or jet planes. We also looked at a bunch of picture online of planes and labeled them as propeller or jet planes.

So we learned a few things in this lesson: parts of a plane, parts of the instrument panel, and whether things were propeller or jet planes. It was a lot of fun!

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