Student Handout #2:

Mars Airplane Design Specifications


As part of the process for the scientific exploration of other planets,aircraft to survey large areas of the planet.Instruments on the airplane from varied regions of the atmosphere and they will perform remote planet ’s surface.To gain a greater understanding of Mars,an airplane to meet the needs of such an unmanned scientific expedition.


Since the atmosphere of Mars is distinctly different from that of Earth,to be given to a fixed wing aircraft design that will fly in such an atmosphere,carry and use a scientific payload.

Design Brief

Design a fixed wing airplane that is capable of sustained,powered,controlled atmosphere of Mars carrying a scientific payload with a mass of at least

  1. The aircraft must be able to carry a scientific payload of 2 kg and following experimental equipment (Note:Weight is in Earth units

  3. Aircraft must be of a fixed wing design.
  4. Aircraft must have sustained,controlled flight in Mars ’ atmosphere for minimum 15 minutes.. You should carry as much payload as possible with a minimum duration of 30 minutes.
  5. Propulsion system must be functional within the Mars atmosphere.
  6. 5.Must be able to withstand airspeeds of approximately 700 m.p.h.with an average air- speed range of 300 m.p.h.– 400 m..p.h.


You will work in teams of _____in roles assigned by your teacher functioning as aeronauti- cal researcher,aeronautical engineer,designer,fabricator and evaluator.


You will use a computer connected to the Internet,a resource library and other aeronautical engineers and researchers in the field to research the aeronautical information,to assist in the design process and to test your model.


You will use the research information found on this web site and other links to assist you in your decisions prior to virtually constructing and testing your model in the section “Design Your Mars Airplane ”. Energy You may use the energy generated by your group ’s collective brain power to develop this design and the “virtual engines ” found on the web site to provide the thrust for your model..

Capital (Money)

Your team will have enough of a research budget to complete the work as assigned.


You have ___class sessions as assigned by your teacher to devote to research,design,virtual model construction,model evaluation,design revision and final evaluation.Be prepared to present your report to your colleagues upon project completion.


Use the format provided by your teacher.Note the best working model and drawings of successful and unsuccessful designs.Explain why some models were more successful than others.