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When building flying machines, selecting the right materials and getting the design correct were very important. The first plane ever made and flown in Ireland was in 1909. It can still be seen at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. Simple materials were used in its construction, including wood, rubber, metal and linen. Many years later, a vertical take-off jet was built in Northern Ireland. It had stronger engines and by then the designers could make use of different materials such as aluminium.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
8 April 2008

Classroom Ideas

Useful when looking at different materials and properties of materials. You could show the clip and stop it each time a question is asked about the used materials and invite the children to come forward with answers. Perhaps introduce other materials and ask the children to discuss if they would be suitable materials for different parts of a plane, eg plastic, fibreglass, iron, paper or cement. You could also use the clip to illustrate flying machines. Invite the children to design their own plane and comment on which materials they would use.