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Old Feb 02, 2014, 10:03 AM
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Joined Feb 2014
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Build Log
ahs_stem_glider_build_spring_2014

Hey everyone ...

We created this on RCGroups in order to solicit help from the community.

We will track the progress of my high school science, technology and engineering class who together with other teachers and some external consultants set the administrative goal of learning Science Technology and Engineering principles through the construction of large hand-towed gliders.

Please help us.

We will start with a purchased ¼ scale primary glider (Zogling) and use that model as a reference for two teams to design and build their own 1/3 scale gliders.

There are two teams with 12 students each.

Thank you,
Ted

Science Teacher at Arlington High School.
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Last edited by tfiust; Feb 07, 2014 at 11:01 AM. Reason: grammar corrections
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Old Feb 02, 2014, 02:29 PM
Gene C
Joined Aug 2008
49 Posts
Ted,
With foamies and ARF's so prevalent today the basic principles of flight is defendant lacking. With this knowledge your students should have no problem in understanding the building of a flying aircraft.
I've been at it now from around the age of 8. Once it's in your blood it seems to be a life long interest.
I for one will be following your progress.
Gene
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Old Feb 07, 2014, 11:04 AM
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Joined Feb 2014
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Today we continue student presentations of the basics of RC Flight

While waiting for the Zogling kit to arrive, we have students doing internet research on such topics as control surfaces, wing shapes, RC components, etc.
The first 4 of twelve presentations happened today.
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Old Feb 08, 2014, 08:13 AM
Registered User
Utah, USA
Joined Jun 2007
568 Posts
Some strange decisions for a beginning aeronautics project; is this for real?
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Old Feb 08, 2014, 08:34 AM
Don't ask me anything...
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Ireland, County Kerry, Kerry
Joined Dec 2005
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Yeah, a Primary Glider is a terrible choice, mainly because they fly terribly. They may have been cutting edge technology in 1924, but things have moved on just a tad since then.. The nice thing about technological advances in planes, is that mostly they equate to better flying (and therefore easier to fly) planes..
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Old Feb 09, 2014, 07:30 AM
Boston R/C Sailplaner
USA, MA, Lexington
Joined Nov 2004
88 Posts
I disagree. Primary glider is basic and easily understood

I am consulting with this teacher / class and made the recommendation for the primary glider. So perhaps we've made a mistake, but let me share my thinking with you and get your opinions.

We have a class of 25 students. We've purchased a large 1/4 scale model to build for reference purposes --- to understand the basic parts --- and get everyone's hands on the model. This plane will only be for reference.

From this we'll break into two teams who will then built - with the wood shop teacher - two 1/3 scale models using techniques of their own choice. These are the real planes that we'll outfit and fly. So these two planes - built by the students - will be what we want to fly. Even a short flight of these 1/3 scale gliders will be considered a tremendous success. So flying quality it not really a primary design goal.

I do agree that a primary glider is not the ideal "flying" plane, as you have all pointed out. What is important to us is the size of the class and the number of aspects of aeronautics to we teach with a large basic model. As such, I thought it was an ideal choice based on simplicity of design and ability to replicate with limited initial skills.

Another consideration is that we have very little time to fly / and limited access to flying locations. So the learning goals are more focused on the "engineering" aspects rather than piloting ones. We are emphasizing the basic flight understanding, design of wings, construction methods, controls, and then launch and flying. If it flies for 30 seconds we'll be successful. If we get multiple 30 second flights a smash success.

For the actual flight, I will pilot to ensure we get as much hang-time as possible. We'll have a buddy box for one student who is appointed by their team as the best pilot. Note also that we're planning to use a hand-tow-launch method where one group of students will run down the field to launch the plane. Motors, which were suggested by our kit provider, are not allowed and also add cost/risks we really don't have time to manage in a large class setting.

What do you think now? Does that help explain a bit more about why a primary glider? I hope so.
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Old Feb 09, 2014, 09:12 AM
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Utah, USA
Joined Jun 2007
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With all the tried and true methods that are out there, this is just such an unorthodox selection of both the airframe and the launch method. It will be interesting to see how it turns out.

By the way, does the woodworking teacher have a modeling background also?
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Old Feb 09, 2014, 10:20 AM
Gene C
Joined Aug 2008
49 Posts
jbachman,
If the intent is to educate the students as stated:

(Another consideration is that we have very little time to fly / and limited access to flying locations. So the learning goals are more focused on the "engineering" aspects rather than piloting ones. We are emphasizing the basic flight understanding, design of wings, construction methods, controls, and then launch and flying. If it flies for 30 seconds we'll be successful. If we get multiple 30 second flights a smash success.)

Then a primary glider may not be that far off due to it's simplicity but with all the aerodynamics required for flight. Yes it will not soar with the eagles but if it inspires one student to be interested in flight then it would be a great success.
I would also like to know if the woodworking teacher is a modeler too, as some modeling experience would be a great asset in building the sample glider.
Gene
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Old Feb 09, 2014, 12:54 PM
Boston R/C Sailplaner
USA, MA, Lexington
Joined Nov 2004
88 Posts
There are several teachers involved, none may be expert

We are working with the engineering teacher, the librarian, the industrial arts teacher and his extensive shop, the science/engineering department head and the principal. I'm not fully aware of their RC modeling experience, but I suspect they have none or little individually. This is one reason I suggested we open this RC forum and solicit help from the the subject matter experts / modeling community.

We have also selected a model that is a full kit - as our reference. We'll learn how that is designed, cut, and built in the coming weeks. We'll include some side projects and do have a number of existing RC planes from earlier classes (2-3 years ago). So there is a little history already within the school and this teacher's class. But in the simplest terms, no there is no direct experience in the teaching team that is involved.

One of our goals is to let the students learn and do as much of this on their own. It would be ideal if we could recruit some of this rcgroup team (scale or non-scale) sailplaners worldwide to assist the students. I've recommended that each student join RCGroups and subscribe to this thread - posting questions and pictures of progress. Kind of an engineering notebook that is alive and leverages your experience. I personally this this will be faster than if I were in each class myself assisting the build directly.

If we can engage you - all, then I suspect this will go very quickly. We'll post weekly learning plans here and solicit pointers / links to reference materials on the web, both here within RC groups, but also beyond.

In my next post, I'll share what was assigned last week and which the students are currently actively presenting to one another. Please read the next post (newer) as an attachment to this message.
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Old Feb 09, 2014, 12:56 PM
Boston R/C Sailplaner
USA, MA, Lexington
Joined Nov 2004
88 Posts
Assignment #1 AHS S.T.E.M Glider Spring 2014

/// this is an excerpt of what was given to the students in this class.

Engineering
30 January 2014

Library Lesson & Research Challenge: Team Briefing Assignment

Guiding Question:

“What will we do to enhance the design of a basic glider?”

Research Topics:

Background information:
Brief history of innovation in human flight (focus on fixed wing aircraft and gliders)

Model airplane components and technology:
Airfoil or wing (include angle of attack and shape)
Fuselage and landing gear
Aileron (trim tabs, spades, balance weights) and other control surfaces
Rudder, vertical stabilizer (fin), and horizontal stabilizer
Radio control
Launch mechanisms/strategies
Construction materials and adhesives (e.g., polystyrene, balsa, foam, epoxy, tape, etc)
Computer aided design (CAD) software and application

Principles of aerodynamics:
Aerodynamic forces acting on a plane (e.g., weight, lift, drag, thrust, and side force)
Rolling and banking, pitch and yaw, maneuverability and stability (including types of dynamic instability)
Reynolds number, Bernoulli’s principle, relative wind and wind tunnels

Research Challenge:

Working in pairs, your task is to create and present a research briefing to the two model airplane teams on a topic in aeronautical engineering that will be important to your success in designing and building a functional glider airplane. It is your job to become the “expert” on this topic and its implications for your teammates.

Your presentation should include the following:

Definition of key terms (what vocabulary do we need to know to make sense of this topic, what pictures or diagrams would be helpful?)
Explanation and analysis (what’s the science and engineering behind this topic, how does this stuff work?)
Application to the problem (how do you think this information will help the team engineer a model plane, what does this tell you about your design or troubleshooting process?)
Remaining questions (what do you still need to find out?)
Citations (in MLA format, showing evidence of authoritative print and electronic resources, following instruction from the librarian)

Create a minimum of 5 slides in a PowerPoint or Google Presentation or other appropriate software of your choice and prepare a 5 minute presentation for your classmates. Be ready to ask and answer questions! Finally, we will post your presentations to a project website so that they can be used as reference materials as the challenge continues.

Resources:

You will receive research instruction from the librarian on available print and non-print resources, including databases. Database passwords will be shared in class and are also available online as long as you are logged onto your school Google account.
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Old Feb 12, 2014, 09:39 PM
Boston R/C Sailplaner
USA, MA, Lexington
Joined Nov 2004
88 Posts
Kit has arrived; Plans are Printed

SG 35/38 Zogling kit arrived Monday night from Jim Ealy at http://www.vintagesailplaner.com/

Plans were downloaded from here same site:

Fuselage: http://www.vintagesailplaner.com/SheetZ35_1_.pdf
Wings: http://www.vintagesailplaner.com/Sheet35_2.pdf

Printed correctly (we think) on large format printer at Kinkos Fedex.

Should be ready to start building the reference plane (1/4 scale) following February school break.
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Last edited by jbachman; Feb 12, 2014 at 10:27 PM. Reason: Adding more information
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Old Feb 12, 2014, 10:06 PM
Boston R/C Sailplaner
USA, MA, Lexington
Joined Nov 2004
88 Posts
Glues for 1/3 scale sailplane

What glues would this group recommend for a plane of this type?

We're thinking cyanoacrylates, but there may be some cases where other types might be better. Anyone have a reference to what we should be using?
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Old Feb 12, 2014, 10:28 PM
Gene C
Joined Aug 2008
49 Posts
jbachman,
Cyanoacrylates allow you to build quickly but are not very forgiving. The three adhesives I would recommend would be cyanoacrylates, slow cure epoxy and professional carpenters glue. The use is dependent on the the structure being bounded. I prefer to use the carpenters glue for plywood and epoxy for metallic bonding. If the parts fit together very tightly then cyanoacrylates can be used as they use capillary penetration to bond will.
Check the printed plans twice as not all printers scale correctly. I would also make up some 90 degree blocks to keep parts square to the surface while bonding.
Gene
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Old Feb 13, 2014, 04:52 PM
Boston R/C Sailplaner
USA, MA, Lexington
Joined Nov 2004
88 Posts
Jim:

I was thinking that wood glue would be good as well. One of the challenges we'll have is getting 25 sets of hands on this model. I was thinking CA would allow more parts to be assembled faster ... knowing that we've got a lot of fingers to go around. In any case thanks for your suggestions.

Jon

Quote:
Originally Posted by justhuman View Post
jbachman,
Cyanoacrylates allow you to build quickly but are not very forgiving. The three adhesives I would recommend would be cyanoacrylates, slow cure epoxy and professional carpenters glue. The use is dependent on the the structure being bounded. I prefer to use the carpenters glue for plywood and epoxy for metallic bonding. If the parts fit together very tightly then cyanoacrylates can be used as they use capillary penetration to bond will.
Check the printed plans twice as not all printers scale correctly. I would also make up some 90 degree blocks to keep parts square to the surface while bonding.
Gene
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Old Feb 13, 2014, 04:58 PM
Boston R/C Sailplaner
USA, MA, Lexington
Joined Nov 2004
88 Posts
Progress Report: Plans Printed and Match Laser Cut Parts

We have the plans printed now. Kinko's did this quickly based on Jim Ealy's PDF files. We've also matched the parts to the plans and they look to be nearly perfect fit (1/4 scale even though drawings say 1/5 scale).

The plan of action now is to break the work into four (4) groups of 6-7 students each:

Left wing
Right wing
Fuselage
Stab and rudder

Each team will have a shop table covered in Homesote. Homesote is our building board.

Stay tuned for next step.
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Last edited by jbachman; Feb 13, 2014 at 06:41 PM. Reason: refinements
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