The Physics of Weightless Flight

Ever wonder what it's like to feel weightless? Hop aboard the Vomit Comet and find out! A video from a large physics playlist features the parabolic airplane flight used to simulate weightlessness. Young physicists discover how the flight compares to freefall, the principles behind weightlessness, and how the aircraft generally lives up to its nickname.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Incorporate the video into a lesson about freefall 
  • Learn more about the plane used to simulate weightlessness with an article from Live Science

Classroom Considerations

  • Before showing the resource, talk for a moment with the class about gravity and air resistance during skydiving to set the stage 
Pros

  • The content is interesting and thoroughly explained
  • Scenes from several voyages on the plane allow viewers to better understand how weightlessness happens without taking a trip to space
Cons

  • None
Common Core