Flying Trio

andrewwski
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Re: Flying Trio

Post by andrewwski » June 7th, 2009, 8:53 pm

That's cool. Based on your information, BLG does sound like it could be a good event (I've never seen it, so it's hard to judge). That is a good point that trimming probably makes more of a difference, because a stable flight in itself would not be enough.

Helicopter sounds interesting in that (a) it is new, which usually means a wide variety of different solutions, which is great to see, and (b) it would take some real practice and effort to get working right (like WS and BLG).

Jacdad, you make a good point about teamwork - one reason I loved WS is that it really took two people to do it best.

I really think Bottle Rockets doesn't belong in S.O. though - not Division C anyway. Building those is something you do in 5th or 6th grade - it doesn't take much extra to devise a recovery system. It almost comes down to luck of the draw when times are only seconds apart - because weather has enough influence to affect the flight within a few seconds.

I was disappointed to see no indoor flying event for my last year in SO.

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Re: Flying Trio

Post by carneyf1d » June 7th, 2009, 9:29 pm

i vote to replace BLG with hand launched gliders, or gliders launched by a rubber band. i think with hand launched gliders the more work you put into it, the better your results will be. however with BLG, anybody can build to specs and its just a matter of trimming. I never built BLG but this is just what i've seen/heard.

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Re: Flying Trio

Post by eyeball138 » June 8th, 2009, 12:12 pm

I liked BLG, but I can't really imagine it as a division C event for two reasons.

1) I can't really imagine high-schoolers walking around with a bunch of "It's a Boy!" balloons at a competition. :P
2) It just seems too easy for C division.

I did Balloon Launch Glider for two years, but I decided not to do Wright Stuff this past year. I'm not a very good builder, and compared to a glider, a Wright Stuff plane is much more difficult. The glider couldn't quite be thrown together, but it doesn't take the same level of skill to get a fairly good glider as it does to get a fairly good Wright Stuff. As Jacdad pointed out, the margin of victory at PA states was not very large for BLG. This means more pressure on the timers, particularly at nationals where the top times may not be seperated by very much.

I liked BLG in division B, but I'm not sure how it would go in division C.
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Re: Flying Trio

Post by blue cobra » June 8th, 2009, 12:46 pm

carneyf1d wrote:i vote to replace BLG with hand launched gliders, or gliders launched by a rubber band. i think with hand launched gliders the more work you put into it, the better your results will be. however with BLG, anybody can build to specs and its just a matter of trimming. I never built BLG but this is just what i've seen/heard.
The problem I see with that is that the hieght of the student could potentially give people an unfair advantage. While this is possible with WS, most people, especially at higher levels of competition, can build a plane that climbs from floor to ceiling.
eyeball138 wrote:...I can't really imagine high-schoolers walking around with a bunch of "It's a Boy!" balloons at a competition...
They could paint it black :P
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Re: Flying Trio

Post by carneyf1d » June 8th, 2009, 1:36 pm

with a decent glider, assuming its made out of solid balsa, it can easily be thrown a good distance. And thus take away an advantage just for tall people.

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Re: Flying Trio

Post by gh » June 8th, 2009, 2:47 pm

The hand-launched gliders that carneyf1d are describing can really be launched by anyone with a bit of practice. You don't need to be able to pitch 90 to throw a balsa plane high enough to reach a gym ceiling. The only trouble is that flight times would be even shorter than those of BLG, given that the rules for a hand-launched glider would be for something that is easier (and thus lower-performing) that the equivalent in "regular" indoor.

Same problem applies for rubber-launched gliders (using a slingshot). Planes that are reasonably simple to build and trim but can withstand the forces will not fly long enough to rank without doubt.

At any rate, BLG does seem a bit too simple for Division C. It just seems to be missing a lot of the nuances of flying a big plane with its own energy stored.

As for helicopter, it all comes down to what we leave up to the competitor to design and build. For example, will the rotor be balsa-and-tissue (or mylar) like for WS/BLG surfaces, or will it be commercially made like WS propellers? Will there be a similar performance and skill gap as in indoor for WS plastic props vs. LPP solid balsa props vs. OPP/F1D covered props? I could imagine people coming up with VP mechanisms for the helicopter too.

The question is really about where to draw the baseline for competitiveness.
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Re: Flying Trio

Post by blue cobra » June 8th, 2009, 3:10 pm

After looking up hand launched gliders on YouTube, I must say they do look great, possibly better than BLG, though I've done neither ;)
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Re: Flying Trio

Post by carneyf1d » June 8th, 2009, 4:13 pm

in the draft rules for helicopter it says the blade of the rotor have to be fixed pitch :( so i doubt theyd leave room for variable pitch propellers. plus the fact that they are a bit difficult to make (never seen anybody in wright stuff make one). yet, id like to see some natural flexing propellers. that would be interesting on a helicopter.
with the hand launched gliders, im sure there would be some big times granted they make the wing area dimensions massive and the weight light

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Re: Flying Trio

Post by calgoddard » June 8th, 2009, 6:28 pm

I'd like to see WS as a C event every year, but I understand the SciOly officials want event rotation.

BLG is a nice division B event to prepare students for WS. It can also be run as a C event, and good flyers will get 20+ seconds in a ceiling height of 25 feet.

Helicopter is probably suited for Division C.

WS and Helicopter can be a bit challenging for most middle school students.

I must come to the defense of the bottle rocket events.

They are safe, inexpensive and great spectator events, and draw many students into SciOly. All the jokes about "rocket science" ensure press and media coverage.

Much science is involved in the bottle rocket events. When parachutes were not allowed, students had to learn all about stability, and all the areodynamic factors necessary to achieve "backsliding."

When parachutes were allowed in bottle rocket, another skill set had to be added to use active parachute deployment.

When active parachute deployment was prohibited in Egg-O-Naut and an egg had to be recovered unbroken, a new skill set and more science had to be learned.

In our state bottle rocket has never been a "luck event." It has been consistently won by students that put in tons of time designing, testing and perfecting. The same team that won gold in Egg-O-Naut at our 2009 state finals also won gold at the largest 2009 regionals in our state prior to the state finals. That success in Egg-O-Naut was not achieved by luck any more than the winners in WS at the 2009 Nationals achieved their success by luck.

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Re: Flying Trio

Post by GitItWright » June 8th, 2009, 6:42 pm

[quote="carneyf1d"] plus the fact that they are a bit difficult to make (never seen anybody in wright stuff make one).

I believe in 1996 when Wright Stuff (then called Propeller Propulsion) was introduced, no one in SO had built any rubber powered airplanes to fly inside a gym. It work out pretty well for SO teams none-the-less. We will see the same with Helicopters and the learning curve will be shorter with 12 years of Wright Stuff to reflect on.

Good Luck.
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