|By GitItWright at 2008-06-03 21:22:34|
Grand Haven 3:03
The restrictions put on the officials to eliminate trim flying during the competition seemed to hurt the Alasken team and possibly Georgia, New York, Illinois and other teams with strong flying programs. The Valpo team was able to overcome the schedule and adapt to the conditions as given.
Though canards were present both days, none were flown officially.
In the future, the national organization needs be educated on the event and terminology. This includes defining Trim flights versus "practice" flights. It also must be stressed that WS is constantly affected by local atmosheric conditions especially durning the contest schedule. These restrictions caused too many airplanes and too many students in the same room (30% or more airplanes were damaged this way) durning the narrow morning "practice" window. They could have spread these out since each hour's 10 teams flew leaving at least 20 minutes of free air space that was not utilized.
The lack of trim flights during the competition was the main reason why Wright Stuff changed from a science event into a calamitous Carny event where luck became the major winning factor. The officals were cuffed in both Wright Stuff and BLG and told that they would not deviate from GWU's strict schedule.
|By calgoddard at 2008-06-04 17:49:06|
Thanks very much for the report.
3:29 is an excellent time if, as I understand it, the max flyable height was 23 feet at the 2008 SciOly WS nationals. That's close to the max in that height for a plane that meets the 2008 WS rules, in my opinion.
Sorry to hear that the conditions were so challenging.
At our regionals, we have about 30 WS teams each year in a challenging pyramid shaped gym with a suspended central score board and dangling lights outboard of the scoreboard all around. It is often a challenge getting all the official flights in before the event ends. Students have many other events and they sometimes get bunched up when they go the the WS event, which is a walk-in event.
We are never allowed to practice in that gym ahead of time, under threat of DQ. The high school where our regionals are held does not want to be bothered with students showing up from other schools on days other than the SciOly official regional competition day.
On the day of our regional competition practice flights are allowed up until 8:00 a.m. At that time it is realtively cold (e.g. 60 degrees F.), the doors are open and people are running around, especially BLG competitors. Our EC event captain is excellent. A former WS state gold medalist herself, she is fair, really knows the rules, and runs a tight, organized competition. She makes a reasonable determination that all flyers will not get their two official flights in if there are practice flights after 8:00 a.m, whether they be trim flights or full flights. Therefore no flights, except official flights, are allowed after 8:00 a.m. at our regionals. But everyone knows this in advance. So it is an equal playing field, except, perhaps, for the WS team that goes to that high school. But that high school team is not very good in WS anyway.
So our WS team never risked practice flights before 8:00 a.m. under those dangerous conditions. They wouldn't tell you much anyway, as your plane should already be well trimmed. Instead, they adopted a different strategy. The first offical flight was a very conservative flight, sometimes no higher than half the ceiling height to gauge the rate of climb under the present ambient conditions, usually close to 80 degrees F. by that time, and with upwards convection due to many spectators, and sometimes drift.
Then, using data from flight logs, and scaling the results, the rubber motor is wound to the correct torque for a second official no-touch flight close to the ceilng.
Our WS teams' desire has always been to do one test flight with a half motor just before our official flights, to gauge the rate of climb and the max height reached by the plane, but they have never been afforded that luxury at regionals or at the state finals.
Weather can affect the rubber motors and cause them to break when they otherwise wouldn't. If you observe lots of rubber motor breakage during winding by other competitors, wind more conservatively. Either that, or bring plenty of extra rubber motors (lubed afte weigh-in) and be prepared to retrieve them and wind quickly before your 8 minutes have expired. Sometimes rubber motor breakage can be attributed to inadequate lubrication of the rubber motor.
Our old time mentors have often told our WS team that if they are not breaking their rubber motors, they are not winding enough.
|By QTpie at 2008-06-06 02:18:40|
Thanks. It was my first flight and it was supposed to be the safe flight, but it ended up being the better one. I was quite excited because I wasn't planning on doing anything great. That morning my plane wasn't getting nearly the times I needed. Then to top it off, one of my planes' wing got sliced by another plane in the air. After that I was a little worried about how the day was going to pan out. After that first flight I knew I had what it took to do top ten, but not necessarily 1st, so that was a surprise. Congrats to everyone else that flew.