April 14, 2021, 12:54:38 pm

Fold the World's Best Paper Airplane

Started by Eclipse, June 08, 2020, 06:17:20 pm

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Eclipse




Luis R. Ramos

This suggestion is great. However it may not work in our squadron. I received comments from my cadets they do not think that rubber band and foam rockets are "serious enough" for them. I would be concerned bringing this to their attention. Different crowd, I think would be ok.
Squadron Safety Officer
Squadron Communication Officer
Squadron Emergency Services Officer

TheSkyHornet

Quote from: Luis R. Ramos on June 09, 2020, 03:22:20 amThis suggestion is great. However it may not work in our squadron. I received comments from my cadets they do not think that rubber band and foam rockets are "serious enough" for them. I would be concerned bringing this to their attention. Different crowd, I think would be ok.

That's common for many cadets.

You have to reach out to the age group. Paper airplanes is not it.

jeders

Quote from: TheSkyHornet on June 09, 2020, 01:14:02 pm
Quote from: Luis R. Ramos on June 09, 2020, 03:22:20 amThis suggestion is great. However it may not work in our squadron. I received comments from my cadets they do not think that rubber band and foam rockets are "serious enough" for them. I would be concerned bringing this to their attention. Different crowd, I think would be ok.

That's common for many cadets.

You have to reach out to the age group. Paper airplanes is not it.

If all you do is build a paper airplane, throw it across the room once or twice, and then move on to the next boring topic, then of course you won't reach them. But, building paper airplanes to explore deeper topics on aerodynamics or to engage people in team building or competitive activities can definitely reach them; regardless of whether it's a group of 14-19 y/o cadets, 25-55 y/o teachers, or 18-70 y/o senior members, I've seen paper airplanes and rubber band rockets reach them all.
If you are confident in you abilities and experience, whether someone else is impressed is irrelevant. - Eclipse

Eclipse

June 09, 2020, 02:55:37 pm #4 Last Edit: June 09, 2020, 03:00:28 pm by Eclipse
^^^

AEX is still a QCUA point, and paper airplanes are a legit activity to that end, not to mention
distance competitions are an Team Building activity found at encampments. This is a low-impact
way to knock out one of the "6 AE activities", while stealth-teaching all kinds of things.

Put the word "competition" on the end of a sentence and your Type A's come out of the woodwork
and discover that aerodynamics and the 4 forces don't really respond well to brute force and nuance is
the name of the game.

Further to this, and clearly it's a often point lost in CAP...

Your younger cadets are "learning", and your older cadets are "mentoring", which is literally
the entire point of the CP. I can't tell you how many "lights-on" moments I've had with both cadets and
seniors who dismiss a given activity as "too basic" because "I did that years ago."

Yes, you did.  Now teach your new guys. 

Folding a paper airplane is not rocket science (even though it kinda is), but herding cats for
twenty 6th and 7th graders, getting the materials together, and executing the competition
is a great way to show new cadet staff that it's not about them, and it's not as easy at it looks.

And FWIW, breaking the Guinness distance record comes with a check for $1000, not to mention the
marketing potential that would come with it.  One can only wonder why this sort of competition
doesn't happen at the wing level, since it would take about $4 worth of materials and an indoor
soccer field.



Spam

"You're not doing it right, guys"  ;D
Paper airplanes and airfoils are absolutely cool and economical ways to demo good science and engineering.


One of my most requested classes is when I lead cadets in building a Wright brothers style wind tunnel to test paper airplane airfoils. I divide the class into a tunnel build team, a test article (paper airplane/airfoil) build team, and a flight test planning team to write and execute the test. We clear a table at the unit and build the tunnel from surplus cardboard moving boxes, duct tape, a window box fan, and a ten buck digital kitchen scale. We then mount the airfoils/airplanes inverted on a balsa sting, attached to the kitchen fan in the test cell of the tunnel. The test team directs low/high speed tests at increasing angles of attack, documenting the measured lift (reading on the digital scale). 

As we step through the test points, the cadets can see the graph being built on the white board showing lift vs. angle of attack for various wing designs at different speeds, and we discuss why the wide wing produced more lift at low speeds (and why it structurally fails and folds up at high speed, where the skinny "fast" wing continues to provide lift at high speeds... an intro to the Area Rule and high Mach design concepts). I've even had fun with cadets bringing in dry ice (to provide smoke to visualize laminar air flow around the wing) and tufting the wings with yarn/threads to observe how a stall works... leading to discussion of Reynolds numbers, how we do applied CFD on modern airplane design teams, etc. The side benefit is, I show some slides and videos from actual flight test programs that I've worked on and we talk in simple terms about some basic topics that are taught at TPS (the actual Test Pilot Schools, USAFTPS, USNTPS, ETPS and NTPS). Thats always fun from an enrichment/history standpoint and adds a human element.

At its basics however this is teaching fundamental, applied science. This is exactly what the Wrights did - design, build and test, and adjust - applying study of science (physics) to their designs, by studying the behavior of paper and wood models.  If we do this correctly this is one of the more powerful AE things that we can conduct as a hands on exercise. On the other hand, if all we do is fart around throwing airplanes at each other for 15 minutes sure, and never talk about the WHY, and HOW, sure, that seems pretty lame.

https://wright.nasa.gov/airplane/tunnel.html
http://www.solarnavigator.net/inventors/wright_brothers_wind_tunnel.htm
https://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/wright-brothers/online/fly/1901/wind.cfm

You could even do some of this online for remotely meeting units:
https://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/wright-brothers/online/workshop/


I will say, this is a simple class to physically execute, and the total cost is under 20 bucks if you reuse a shop fan and a kitchen scale. Yet, it requires you (you Senior Members and senior cadets) to actually plan and rehearse the class ahead of time to make it meaningful. Since I keep running across Squadrons who can't be bothered to plan their classes more than four days ahead, that is the biggest road block I see (people who throw together a half-xxx class at the last minute).

V/r
Spam

Ned

FWIW, I won the paper airplane for distance category at COS by tightly wadding up my issued piece of paper and throwing it.  I had to really work at compressing and shaping my entry for optimal performance.  I beat the conventional airfoil competitors by a good 10 feet.

I maintained then as now that I could learn a great deal about both the aerodynamics of a spheroid and ballistics.

And I hadn't even been to law school yet.

They decided to award two "first prizes" and subsequently revised the rules.

I have always supported AEX and paper aircraft completions since.

JC004

Quote from: Ned on June 09, 2020, 06:07:55 pmFWIW, I won the paper airplane for distance category at COS by tightly wadding up my issued piece of paper and throwing it.  I had to really work at compressing and shaping my entry for optimal performance.  I beat the conventional airfoil competitors by a good 10 feet.

I maintained then as now that I could learn a great deal about both the aerodynamics of a spheroid and ballistics.

And I hadn't even been to law school yet.

They decided to award two "first prizes" and subsequently revised the rules.

I have always supported AEX and paper aircraft completions since.


Three cheers for Ned.  That's just my style.

Kayll'b

Reminds me of the time at encampment when we had to make a card tower where only one person could touch a card at a time. We just bent the cards and made a skyscraper. ;D The instructor wasn't too happy about that, but to be fair, he told us to find an out of the box solution.
C/Capt

Mitchell # 69847

Squadron Cadet Leadership officer

GCAC Recorder

Spam

That is great stuff!

The fastball from Ned and your truss design are exactly how engineering keeps pushing the boundaries of the possible, and how society keeps advancing. Well done!

Ref: truss design... which is used all the time in aerospace, from fuselage and wing designs to the International Space Station!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truss

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/integrated-truss-structure

Keep innovating and keep designing!

V/r
Spam

etodd

Quote from: Spam on June 09, 2020, 03:24:10 pmOne of my most requested classes is when I lead cadets in building a Wright brothers style wind tunnel to test paper airplane airfoils. I divide the class into a tunnel build team, a test article (paper airplane/airfoil) build team, and a flight test planning team to write and execute the test. We clear a table at the unit and build the tunnel from surplus cardboard moving boxes, duct tape, a window box fan, and a ten buck digital kitchen scale. We then mount the airfoils/airplanes inverted on a balsa sting, attached to the kitchen fan in the test cell of the tunnel. The test team directs low/high speed tests at increasing angles of attack, documenting the measured lift (reading on the digital scale).


Absolutely fantastic.  If we could just clone you. So many Squadrons need one of you.
"Don't try to explain it, just bow your head
Breathe in, breathe out, move on ..."

Capt Thompson

You could always go a step further, and have them try their hand at designing and building a flying balsa model, powered by a rubber band prop. I think that's something even the Seniors would want to get in on.
Capt Matt Thompson
Deputy Commander for Cadets, Historian, Public Affairs Officer

Mitchell - 31 OCT 98 (#44670) Earhart - 1 OCT 00 (#11401)

Майор Хаткевич