Electric Wright Stuff
|Electric Wright Stuff|
|Description||Prior to the tournament teams design, construct, and test free flight electric-powered monoplanes to achieve maximum time aloft.|
Electric Wright Stuff is a Division C trial event at the 2017 National Tournament. It involves an airplane that must fly using a motor powered by a capacitor. In general, the capacitor provides the energy to help the airplane fly toward the ceiling of the room it is in, and then the plane uses its height to stay aloft for as long as possible.
Principles of Aerodynamics
For E-Wright Stuff (Electric Wright Stuff), it is important to understand the principles of aerodynamics. Experience with Wright Stuff or Elastic Launched Glider as a previous event are helpful as starting points. If new to flying events, it is very helpful to learn how airplanes work.
As seen in the image depicted below, planes work due to four core concepts: Thrust, Lift, Weight, and Drag. To get a successful E-Wright Stuff plane to work, the correct ratio for all four concepts of Thrust, Lift, Weight, and Drag must be found. Too much or too little of one or the other, and an E-Wright Stuff plane can fail catastrophically.
Lift is the most important part of an E-Wright Stuff device. The effects of lift on a plane wing can be seen on the image at right. When building the device's wings, one should aim for a teardrop shape or a shape of similar properties, as it can ensure that lift occurs. Trial and error will help in finding what works for any particular device.
If a plane weighs too much, the amount of thrust and lift needed for flying increases. To help resolve this problem, use light balsawood to reduce any unnecessary weight. Keeping the plane light assures that it can fly and not crash and burn.
Thrust is given to the E-Wright Stuff device by a small capacitor that powers a motor, contrary to Wright Stuff, where a rubber band powers it. This is the namesake of Electric Wright Stuff.
Drag is the main enemy in this event. The more drag a plane has, the more energy it takes for the plane to move. When adding a back rotor, keep note of this.
For a working E-Wright Stuff plane, materials along the line of the following are most likely to be needed.
- Balsawood for the body of the plane.
- Small capacitor to serve as the power source storage.
- Small motor with a propeller to provide thrust for the plane.
- Plastic bags to line the wings to have lift act on your plane.
- Glue to assemble the plane.
- X-Acto knife to cut all wood.
- Meter stick to measure the plane.
- Battery to charge the capacitor.
- Voltmeter to measure charge in the capacitor.
Note the similarities to Wright Stuff.
|Division B: Flying Bird · MagLev · Wright Stuff Capacitor | Division C: Flying Bird · Materials Science · Robot Arm|