Wright Stuff Kit Interest

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Wright Stuff Kit Interest

Post by BUCMAN » May 12th, 2009, 4:40 pm

Hey all,
Myself and another indoor flier are looking together at putting together an affordable kit for next year's Wright Stuff rules. Would there be an interest in this?
I know Dave puts out a pretty good model with his Freedom Flight planes, but hopefully another good competitive kit would help improve overall knowledge and interest in Wright Stuff and indoor flying.

For anyone whose been on the wright stuff forums for a long time you might remember myself, BUCMAN, and clinto.
I have six years experience flying in Science O, and now help out my area's middle schools. I've racked up a bit of hardware including 3 WS national medals, including 2 Top 3s.
Clint won a BLG National Championship, and was highly competitive during his Wright Stuff reign.

Please help us with feedback on what you'd be looking for in a kit and any general feedback about the idea.

Thanks!
GO BUCS!!!!!
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Re: Wright Stuff Kit Interest

Post by croman74 » May 12th, 2009, 4:58 pm

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Re: Wright Stuff Kit Interest

Post by smartkid222 » May 12th, 2009, 5:12 pm

You would be in a lot of competition from FF (Dave) and Aeroracers. I don't think ray harlanmakes kits anymore but he used too. Turnertoysused to sell them but have switched to other models.

I think it would be cool to see a differnt plan and possibly something that could work better, even though the zeigler kits seem to work fairly well. If i were competiting and your kit would look respectable i would probably buy it to see if worked well.
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Re: Wright Stuff Kit Interest

Post by clinto » May 12th, 2009, 7:47 pm

These kits would be taken very seriously with a lot of testing. We would be using the same materials as Dave and other companies, but we are going to try and make some plans that are very competetive with his kit in mind because we know that his kit is very popular(we both used it when we were in Div. B and C.).

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Re: Wright Stuff Kit Interest

Post by andrewwski » May 12th, 2009, 7:55 pm

Keep in mind that the guys that make these kits have not only experience with S.O. planes, but also with other indoor rubber planes, such as F1D. They have years of experience with indoor flying of all sorts, beyond that of an experienced S.O. flyer.

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Re: Wright Stuff Kit Interest

Post by wlsguy » May 13th, 2009, 3:28 am

If you are trying to make money at it, I think you might have a difficult time with all of the other competition. They are all well known and have been making kits for years. As someone who has never used a kit, I don't know about their quality, etc.

If it's all about the kids, then you may have more success. Perhaps a good set of plans, a detailed shopping list, and step by step instructions would be more helpful.

Most of the planes I have seen tend to fall into 2 categories; those that fly well (2+ minutes) and those that don't fly at all (less than 30 seconds). It takes a lot to keep kids whos planes are in the "don't fly" group interested to try and improve. I think this is where the kits are most helpful and are most needed.

Thanks.

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Re: Wright Stuff Kit Interest

Post by GitItWright » May 13th, 2009, 8:29 am

Kits-
As glamorous as it seems, kit manufacturing is not an easy prospect. There are multiple layers of issues and "whipping together" kits will eventually become an all consuming issue. Some of the best flying airplanes do not generally translate into workable kit designs. What will be the actual market...?

Those teams that really feel a kit is needed are looking for a "simple answer" to a complex issue. There are designs out there that attempt to make building easy, but easy always tanslates into either added mass or low efficiency. Aeroracers comes to mind here as does Midwest's Sorcerer. Neither company really expects record setting flights but they fullfill the primary need of helping a novice take their first step into building and flying. Ray Harlan (who no longer manufactures SO kits) and Dave Zeigler have both provided a next level performance kit are still they are handcuffed. The masses still crave simplicity and these companies chose relative simplicity over performance.

To achieve that same next level or higher means mixing tougher assembly issues with a moving target set of rules. Compound that with WS being out of the picture after next year adds some extra burden to producing another kit. Another full blown kit airplane may have to have the similar square shape to the design that appears to the uninitiated as another "me-to" product simply to keep costs and assembly woes in check. For instance, circular wing vortice tips and fins means less weight in glue but loads of labor cost.

What constitutes a better kit design? What constitutes a kit that sells? You probably need to draw both these issues together. The best flying airplanes may just be to tough for 6th graders to build. Bill Gowen's "Finney" plane series and Cezar Banks' "Leading Edge" are optimium designs that far eclipse the abilities of middle schoolers. Note that fine motor dexterity in males does not approach adult abilities until after 16 years old. For girls, its better, by 15 years they do approach adult fine motor dexterity abilities.

I would suggest a "short kit" that leaves many "standard" components for the builder to aquire on their own. Spend your efforts on plans and instructions that even a 4 year old could comprehend. The specialty items in a short kit might include the prop, bearing assembly, film, plans and BOM (bill-of- materials)to round out the rest of the parts needed.

One sticky wicket with the current rules has to do with the motorstick and rubber relationships. Many of the best teams have had difficulty getting the best performance from 1.5 grams of rubber on 7 gram airplanes due too much deflection with the motorstick. I have seen at at least 1/3 of the airplanes seemingly built for performance fail due to this compound issue. One good team I know went through 12 finished motorsticks to find two that remained stiff enough.

Chances are that an efficient, world beating airplane produced as a kit, will expect 6th graders to perform as well as adults during assembly and, if not built very methodically, be very finicky to trim and keep in trim. Those teams aspiring to proceed to this higher level of difficulty already have the confidence to design their own "home-brews" very effectively. So, producing the "better kit" may be rendered moot.

Good Luck
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Re: Wright Stuff Kit Interest

Post by wlsguy » May 13th, 2009, 11:31 am

GitItWright wrote:Kits-
...One sticky wicket with the current rules has to do with the motorstick and rubber relationships. Many of the best teams have had difficulty getting the best performance from 1.5 grams of rubber on 7 gram airplanes due too much deflection with the motorstick. I have seen at at least 1/3 of the airplanes seemingly built for performance fail due to this compound issue. One good team I know went through 12 finished motorsticks to find two that remained stiff enough....

Speaking of the motorstick. It seems that almost every team is having trouble in this area. This could be because the teams are trying to reach the 7.0 g amount and compromising the stiffness. Maybe the rules committee would consider raising the weight to 8g next year and the rubber to 2g so that a thicker motor stick would be more common. What does everyone else think?

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Re: Wright Stuff Kit Interest

Post by GitItWright » May 13th, 2009, 1:08 pm

Speaking of the motorstick. It seems that almost every team is having trouble in this area. This could be because the teams are trying to reach the 7.0 g amount and compromising the stiffness. Maybe the rules committee would consider raising the weight to 8g next year and the rubber to 2g so that a thicker motor stick would be more common. What does everyone else think?[/quote]

There is an issue with teams who built tiny cross section fuselages last year for BLG to assume that small cross section motorsticks would be an way to get the total weight down for the WS airplanes. The reverse of this idea is generally the solution. A larger cross section, denser wood motorstick with the span from prop hook to motor hook shortened works. Straddling the wing over the rubber span also helps negate that effect. Its the rest of the structure that needs to become lighter. The 1.5 gram motors has kept flight times below 3 minutes to allow easier officiating (as well as team time management) and I suspect that those points will not change dramatically. The rules are in a two year cycles and in those paired years, the second year's rules tend to be minor adjustments. A change to 8 gram motorsticks and 2 gram motors would be a significant adjustment and frankly remove an established challenge. The second year typically gets more competitive as teams "catch-up" with their solutions.

Those motorstick solutions tend to not be something that can be an "off-the-shelf" item that can be inventoried for kit production. Most fixes have to do with wood selection, lamination and design compensation for the expected deflection.

Good Luck
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Re: Wright Stuff Kit Interest

Post by BUCMAN » May 13th, 2009, 3:10 pm

Thanks for all your replies, we appreciate the feedback.
A couple things Clint and I have talked about to cover the variety of experience with builders:
-Within the standard set of plans we will include several optional sections with increased difficultly/better designs
-Create a very user-friendly web presence with a large emphasis on simple how to videos for steps such as covering wings, etc.

I'll be sure to keep everyone updated. Thanks again!
GO BUCS!!!!!
2 time Wright Stuff Div C National Top Three
2007 Robot & Scrambler Div C National Champ
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