What happened to my daughter's airplane in the Illinois State Science Olympiad Competition was very peculiar. My daughter's plane was definitely the best in the practice round. We went to UIUC (the same location as National) on April 9 and got there at around 7:00PM. They had three wings made, two of them are 6.9cm cord, and another one is the Dave Zeigler 15 CM cord wing. They did not fly the 15cm wing in UIUC, but the 15 CM cord wing flew 3 mins 37 sec in a 50 ft gym, so I am sure it can reach around 4 min 30 sec in UIUC.
In the practice round at UIUC on 4/9, my daughter flew one of the 6.9cm wing, consistantly getting flight time between 3 mins 52 sec and 4 mins 13 sec. This does not include bonus. With 30% bonus, it converts to between 5 mins 1.6 sec and 5 mins 28.9 sec. The plane climbed all the way to 70 ~ 80 ft, but never touched the ceiling.
On competition day (4/10), in the free flight time between 7:00-8:00PM, my daughter flew the plane twice with first wind RB, it reaches 3 mins 44 sec. Usually the second wind and third wind RB can bring the plane to get 4 mins +. We thought everything were set for the competition.
The kids went to other events with plane boxes left in the gym. One parent was supposed to guard the box all the time, but she left the box unattended for a few minutes to go to bathroom.
Kids came back for the wright stuff competition, thinking the plane was still in good condition. They checked in, and started to fly with the bonus wing. The plane did not lift as it usually do, wing started to wobble. It did not last long in air. The kids now found the leading edge wood was broken into two pieces in the middle. The kids ran for the second bonus wing, and then found the second bonus wing was broken as well, three pieces of balsa broken with the mylar torn. The kids got so nervous and never thought of placing the 15 cm wing for the flight, so they tried the second broken wing anyway, it did not last long in air. The kids were so disappointed and bothered.
For national competition, if you can fly 4 mins 17 sec with bonus wing, the total flight time with 40% bonus will be 6 mins. I suspect the winning flight time will be a little bit less than 6 mins but close.
Last edited by lunxiong
on April 18th, 2010, 9:28 pm, edited 6 times in total.