Monday, September 9, 2013

New Prototype of Rubber Powered Foam Airplane

Even the simplest projects can be fun to modify and observe the results. My quest lately has been to create simple rubber powered airplanes that are built almost entirely from foam plates. For two different groups of kids the airplane wing was constructed from the material in two 9" foam plates. This created a model plane that would climb fast and high with 1/8" wide rubber strip. If the airplane was not adjusted just right it could hit the ground quickly as well.

Not Much to Look at but Flies Well

In the formula for lift, wing area is one of the components, increasing the wing area should increase the amount of lift. Like most things the variables that lead to a result are dependent in some way. Increase the surface of the wing and the total weight of the airplane increases and so does the amount of drag. If the wing size was increased too much more it would not be stiff enough without some reinforcement. Larger propeller and rubber strip would be needed to power a plane that was significantly larger, I wanted to avoid that.

Larger Plane in Flight

The new airplane with increased wing area appears to be a good compromise. Observing it in flight the flight speed appears slower and the flight looks more stable to me. Recent flights were in gusty winds and the airplane handled it well although at one point it looked to be flying backwards for a brief time.

Now the real test what success groups of kids have building and flying this airplane.

New Larger Plane in Flight

Smaller Airplane Climbs High Faster

Bill Kuhl

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