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Aerodynamics is discontinued. It has been replaced by Aviation. (See Discontinued awards.)
Those who earned it before it was discontinued may still wear it, but it can no longer be earned.

Aerodynamics merit badge
Status: Discontinued BSA Advancement ID: n/a
Created: 1942 Replaced: Aviation (original)
Replaced in: 1952 Replaced by: Aviation (current)


Aerodynamics was first offered in 1942, along with Aeronautics, Airplane Design, and Airplane Structure, to replace the original Aviation merit badge. They were all replaced by the current Aviation merit badge in 1952.

Aerodynamics requirements

  1. Show that air has weight and pressure, using as an improvised barometer, a sauce dish or pan and a tall cylindrical glass of water; (b) explain variations in air due to altitude, and point out some resulting problems for engines, for flight path hazards, and for the pilot himself.
  2. Demonstrate Bernoulli's law that air speed reduces pressure, using a spool and a small card, or a tube and a ping pong ball.
  3. Build a six-inch airfoil wing section of 5-inch chord and high left cambers, and mount and demonstrate with it the principle of lift; (b) Submit with explainations, a rough diagram used in explaining to another Scout the Aeronauticsd Merit Badge outline of the positive forces of Thrust and Lift and the negative forces of Gravity and Drag.
  4. Build three drag demonstration airfoils of same cross-section width - cube, cylinder, "streamline" - using a cylindrical oatmeal box, some cardboard, paper and glue; (b) improvise small easy-rolling 4-wheel support to demonstrate air resistance of the airfoils in an air current.
  5. Build and demonstrate the use of small, simple wind tunnel to provide controlled air current; OR build and demonstrate a simple air speed measuring device.
  6. Build a rubberband powered flying model airplane of some type new to the builder, and fly in some competition. (Kit may be used.)
  7. Draw rough side-view outline of monoplane and use in explaining the "angle of attack" (British - angle of incidence); (b) demonstrate why an air stream action enables "control surfaces" to control the direction of the plane; (c) review what stick-and-pedal-action alters which control surfaces.
  8. Indicate six or more ways for a pilot, about to land, to identify wind direction; (b) explain the relative plus and minus air speed advantages of taking-off and landing into the wind; (c) explain the aerodynamics of stalling.
  9. Test the relative speeds in an air current of two propellers of approximately the same diameter qnd blade area, but of different pitch; (b) point out the advantages of the modern variable pitch propeller.

Boy Scout Requirements, ({{{1}}}) Edition The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Handbook for Boys, 1948 Edition

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  • This merit badge was part of the Air Explorer program during World War II.

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