The purpose of this toy is to provide basic yet fundamental knowledge of air dynamics in a way children can easily comprehend. Time spent playing with this simple toy should help them understand that wind is a primary component of flight. An airplane in flight is an object children can recognize, which aids them in realizing what the toy is supposed to do (fly).

How to play:

The current design has a gear system which connect a crank and a fan to provide steady windflow at a reasonable speed (or as fast as the child wishes). The miniature plane is initially at rest on a landing platform, connected at the wings by strings. The wings should catch the incoming wind and create a lift force, which should induce flight.

Production and Safety:

(See manufacturing) The majority of this toy (base) is primarily polycarbonate thermoplastic (acrylic, Lexan). The clear nature of the material allows the child to see how the gears work, which acts as a secondary goal for the child to understand the physics and mechanism of the toy. The plane is a simple paper plane that a child could create himself, and hook onto the strings for flight.

Important note:

One should note that the toy does not accurately represent the way an airplane really flies. This toy simply uses wind as a force, and the placement of the strings force the strings to act under tension, causing the plane to move up to maintain equilibrium. Air flow through an actual plane uses more complicated physics.


One of the most important things we learned while protoyping our toy was that simplicity is always better. Our design was very simple, yet purposeful. While we did run into some smaller problems, we believe the final product is up to our standards. Some more specific lessons we learned: