End of AE Camp at ERAU, Prescott

The 4th day started off with Dr. Traub and Dr. Ashworth teaching the students the basics of aerodynamics and airplane construction. A wind tunnel lab followed in which the principles of wind tunnel and the theories behind its working were explained. The students also checked out the water tunnel and the various airplane models built by seniors for their ‘Detail’ Design class from previous semesters. After lunch, the same teachers continued their classes on Stability and Control. The students were introduced the four basic forces acting on an airplane and how each of them contributes to the stability of the airplane. Drag is not always a bad thing 😉 After all these classes were complete, the fun began. The students entered the machine shops and looked at a pile of balsa wood, stacks of glue, rubber-band packets, sets of rulers and pencils, lots of X-Acto knives and knew exactly how much fun they are going to have for the next 2.5 hours. Spilt in teams of four, the campers began the design process. A plethora of designs were made:highly tapered wings, high aspect ratio wings, stepped wings, unique empennage configurations and lots of unique construction ideas. The students were designing this airplane with an engineering aspect in mind. It was not a thumb-measured-airplane made at the backyard. Carefully measured cuts were made whenever possible and the weight was always an issue. Some groups got to complete the design before the allotted time and got to do some flight test in the corridors of the AxFab Building. The air conditioning vents created some air flow issues. Well, they had turbulent flow experiences 😉 After the Glider Design Lab, the students were taken to a movie, dinner and lots of mini golf. Pictures say it all. On the last day, they had their glider glying competition where the flew their airplanes at the Eagle Gym and the airplane that flew the farthest won. The maximum was to scale the length of the gym. They also had their truss bridges tested by the tensile strength testers at the Materials Lab. The bridge that could withstand the maximum force made it to the top. The luncheon marked the end of this great camp where the campers where once again reunited with their families and took home back their broken bridge and few intact pieces of their balsa wood glider. As usual, pictures follow:

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