Flying Trio

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GitItWright
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Flying Trio

Post by GitItWright » June 7th, 2009, 10:49 am

The future of flight in Science Olympiad has entered a new format. Events will rotate every couple of years and much like the established bridge, towers, and boomilever format, a group of three flying events will eventually round out the trio. Jeff Anderson has made marvelous strides in helping the SO Technology Committee develop this flying trio. The following is hypothetical but very realistic proposal for the future of flying in Science Olympiad.

The matriarch event will be Wright Stuff a "horizontal" propeller/rubber powered flight event. The second event that has been developed is Balloon Launch Glider a "horizontal" non-powered flight event. The third proposed event in the plan now is the trial event HELICOPTER, a "vertical" propeller[rotor]/rubber powered flight event. The flight trio group would feature events that are relatively challenging without being extremely difficult. Though currently there are not as many plans and instructions for the helicopter event, the interest will induce innovation and this will give the event a wide scope of design options.

The Flying Trio of events may possibly be subject to change to various formats as the future unfolds. These include...

Wright Stuff- 1) as is an Flight Endurance event, 2) a Payload event , 3) Speed Event, etc.
Gliders- 1) Balloon Launch, 2) Towline, and with some changes, 3) Catapult Launch , etc.
Helicopters- 1) Endurance -Single Rotor and/or Multirotor, 2) Payload, 3) Gyrocopter, 4) Auto-rotator [glider],
5)Auto-gyro, etc.

This way, Science Olympiad may widen the flying experience yet keep structures and mechanisms within skill levels that are appriopriate to the Divisions flying them. The various options will allow the Flying Event Trio to have a long and prosperous life span for generations to come.

Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas will be considered as the Technology Committee develops events, long range, for our future. Thanks and...

Good Luck.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistiguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke

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Re: Flying Trio

Post by eyeball138 » June 7th, 2009, 11:00 am

Would Bottle Rockets/Egg-o-Naut be eliminated from the rotation, or are they in a different category?
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2010
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C Division...

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Re: Flying Trio

Post by carneyf1d » June 7th, 2009, 12:10 pm

those sound great. one question though, what about ornithopters? leave them out all together? :(

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Re: Flying Trio

Post by fleet130 » June 7th, 2009, 4:54 pm

The last time I dealt with this subject, the Executive Board absolutely insisted Bottle Rockets be one of the three rotating events. It was not open to discussion. Only time will tell if they have changed their mind!
Information expressed here is solely the opinion of the author. Any similarity to that of the management or any official instrument is purely coincidental! Doing Science Olympiad since 1987!

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Re: Flying Trio

Post by gh » June 7th, 2009, 5:17 pm

Bottle Rockets is nothing like WS. It's somewhat more dangerous, far less elegant in its performance, and especially subject to the caprices of weather conditions due to its outdoor nature. It's also really cold to run or practice it in the middle of February. The only way it could be worse is if they bowed to the dark interests of the Egg Farmers of America and they were to implement some kind of ploy to stick an egg on... oh wait.
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Re: Flying Trio

Post by andrewwski » June 7th, 2009, 5:46 pm

My two cents:

Drop bottle rockets. It's too elementary of and event and does not belong at the high school level. As much fun as it is to launch rockets, there's too many outside factors that can affect the scores, and it's really suited more toward the upper elementary or middle school level. Maybe it would work for Division B, but it definitely doesn't belong in C.

BLG - never done it but it seems like it's taking the whole fun out of WS. Plus adding an extra hurdle by having to make a balloon mount (release mechanism too?) which may be time consuming but doesn't really help apply the principles of the event.

WS - a great and legendary event, almost synonymous with SO in my opinion. Not only is it a ton of fun, it really requires you to put the time and effort in, and forces you to learn a lot on the way.

Helicopter - sounds exciting. If it can be implemented practically, I'd like to see it.

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Re: Flying Trio

Post by GitItWright » June 7th, 2009, 6:07 pm

Note- The Flying Trio is conceptual... so far.

Bottle Rockets are a Ballistics/Trajectory event and really should go back to the Inquiry Committee with the other trajectory style events possibly in a similar rotation.

Helicopter is already scheduled in numorous state competitions in 2010. The include Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. The National competition at the University of Illinois has already slotted the Helicopter event as a featured Trial event for 2010.

The Helicopter event fits between Wright Stuff and BLG in complexity. It is a natural extension of those skills that teams already possess. Check for info on the internet for plans and instructions. Hopefully somebody will submit something for YouTube. More info will arise as the year goes on. They are exciting yet elegant to watch as they fly.

As for ornithopters, to get over a minute means very delicate mechanisms such as hypo needles for hinges on the cranks. The two reigning experts, Joe Krush and Roy White, suggest the skills needed to fly consistency takes years of hands-on, high dexterity practice and are too complex for pre-college age students. Therefore, with lo-tech rules in place to match the builders skills, flights probably will not exceed 30 seconds. If 50 teams fly, then timing may come down to only a theoretcial seperation of 1/1000ths of a second which is an unfair factor for officials to score. The Flight Trio on the other hand will all have capability of one minute or more which is much easier spread of times to monitor.

Good Luck.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistiguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke

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Re: Flying Trio

Post by jacdad » June 7th, 2009, 6:57 pm

The trio sounds good. Hope my eighth grader can do a flying event until he is a senior.

Andrewski:

After coaching BLG for 2 years, including being a supervisor at regionals, and coaching Wright Stuff for 2 years, with one as regional supervisor, I have a couple of observations.
1. BLG tends to have closer competitions. The two years at States in PA, the difference between 1st and 5th was around 10 sec. or less, with less than 2 sec. margin of victory for 1st. That makes for some excitement.
2. IMHO, trimming a BL glider is way more critical than a WS plane. Adjustments must be very fine .
3. Launch rigs can be very complicated, like the catapult launcher we saw at States in '07, but our very simple launcher worked nearly perfect in '08.
4. Similar to WS, low site height can favor a near perfect launch, or a higher site favors a near perfect flying glider.
5. You have a team which has to work well together, and know their launch rig to get 3 smooth, maximum height launches, and 3 good flights in in 8 min. Sort of like winding technique, rubber and prop, all that WS stuff.

I would really like to see what C Division builders could do with BLG.

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Re: Flying Trio

Post by jander14indoor » June 7th, 2009, 7:30 pm

Since I've already been mentioned, I'll put in my two cents worth.

Helicopter duration was also run as a pilot event in Ohio and Michigan this past season. No where near the virtuosity seen in WS or BLG, but to be expected for a new event. We've seen times by students above one minute for a helicopter built to the proposed rules. I think more is possible.

If you want to try over the summer, check out the trial events on the national page.

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Re: Flying Trio

Post by GitItWright » June 7th, 2009, 7:57 pm

andrewwski wrote:My two cents:

BLG - never done it but it seems like it's taking the whole fun out of WS. Plus adding an extra hurdle by having to make a balloon mount (release mechanism too?) which may be time consuming but doesn't really help apply the principles of the event.
There are amazingly simple solutions to the launcher that, because they are not complex, they are consistantly repeatable. You do not hear about these as teams are very competitive and cautious about sharing the "FIX". A little thought the the solutions are easy to track. Jacdad is correct the the event is tight and the excitment high. Its like watching golf pros who are all at the same tournament, all tee off on the same par 4, and all coming close to a hole-in-one.

WS - a great and legendary event, almost synonymous with SO in my opinion. Not only is it a ton of fun, it really requires you to put the time and effort in, and forces you to learn a lot on the way.
Yes, the originator of the event knew the "long legs" that Wright Stuff would have and it either has equalled or surpassed other build events in longevity. It has become an SO ICON.

Helicopter - sounds exciting. If it can be implemented practically, I'd like to see it.
It is exciting and thought provoking.
In many ways it is taking much of the design process used in WS into a vertical flight format. Factors of rotor (like propeller) pitch, rotor area, # of winds, torque, motor cross section will all be familiar to most teams. The configuration of the rotors will be the first plateau. Two rotor systems will be the benchmark. They will rotate in opposite rotation so the design will take some initial theorizing to crete a complimentary design.
When Wright Stuff was a trial event, no one believed a rubber powered airplane could fly in a gym let alone fly over 10 seconds without hitting the walls. Because the flying events have success behind them, the learning curve for the helicopter will be small and the excitment big.

Good Luck.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistiguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke

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