Monthly Archives: February 2016

Drinking the Kool-Aid

Strictly speaking, we’ve drunk the Gatorade, but with our new motto of “Semper Fly”, we’ve been accused of becoming a cult (Semi-Latin evidently equates to cult).    Anyway, here is our old friend the Gatorade bottle, which has been faithfully serving our club since we found out about this year’s challenge in September.  Unfortunately, it suffered damage in our series of drop tests (see last post for exciting videos!).  We thus drank it in celebration of our completion of the report ( #Reportarama2016 ), and will replace it with a newer model shortly.  We are also pleased to note that no one got food poisoning from drinking six-month old Gatorade.

Either way, having now finished our report, we will spend the rest of our year till competition in construction.  So far, good progress has been made- both fuselages are complete, as well as one set of wings.  With any luck, all prototype construction will be complete by next weekend, and we’ll start flying things around (which will mean more exciting videos!).  Until then, please enjoy some mid-construction pictures of our prototype.

Production Plane Wings- and the Gatorade shortly before it’s untimely demise.
Half of the Manufacturing Planes’s Fuselage. Is it huge? Yes, yes it is.

It Continues

We said we would be more active on this blog this year.  We lied.  Thus, we will now try to win you love back with a cool video! (At the end of this post.  It needs some context).

First, an update on last semester:

This year, the rules of competition changed slightly: in order to compete, a team had to submit a proposal by December 12th.  This accelerated our conceptual design phase considerably.  To prove this, here are some lovely conceptual images of our two planes:

The Gatorade Plane
The Gatorade Plane
The Container Plane
The Container Plane

Aren’t they pretty?  Evidently competition agrees with us, because they accepted our proposal and invited us to compete! SUCCESS.

That brings us to today.  The Gatorade Plane’s landing gear (as pictured above) was planned to go over the top of the plane.  This requires us to manufacture it ourselves, which we’ve realized we might not exactly have the equipment for.  Therefore, we thought we should give a different landing gear scheme a try, and test its viability by doing a drop test.

For anyone who hasn’t done a drop test before, its exactly what it sounds like: you load up your plane, drop it, and see what happens.  In our case:

This happened. Cool Video here.

So maybe it didn’t exactly go well. That being said, we dropped the plane from 4 ft, equating to a speed of roughly 11 mph on impact.  The height we should have dropped the plane from to meet the design impact speed for landing gear from the Code of Federal Regulations? 9 inches.

Lesson: we’re being a little excessive with our overachieving.  We also may need to look into laterally bracing our structures.  Tomorrow, we shall attempt the test from a more reasonable height.  Update you then!