Monday, February 14, 2011

Wings 'n Things

So, if you've been wondering where I vanished to the last couple days, here's the answer: AIAA DBF. I've got a post about the Liberty rocket percolating, and the second ATV is on the pad for a a launch tomorrow at 4 PM (ish) EST, and STS 133 is enjoying a smooth flow, and that's all out there in my mind, but what's been in the front of my mind the last few days has been more atmospheric.
Insufficient Lift for Current Payload--Please Try Again
We've been busily working towards getting our prototype airworthy before the paper deadline, with a flight date set for this weekend so we can get the data into the paper. It's been a bit of a rough ride, characterized by late nights, delays from shipping issues, but I think that the effort shows--even if we miss our goal of getting the plane flight data in the paper, which I think is not an unreasonable goal at this point, we'll still be way ahead of last year, and I think with a much more solid design.

Still, this is a time of the year I both love and hate. I love seeing the plane come together after all the work, and I don't mind the time investment and dedication required to do so. However, this is the time of the year that really tries my time-management abilities, and where I have to remind myself that while I love Aerodesign Team and the feeling of working on real problems, I'm not a full engineer. I'm still a student, an engineer in progress, and I even if the plane needs my time, I still have to be able to get my homework done and wake up in the mornings.

My link tonight is last year's first flight video. Note the date, and compare that we may fly this weekend if all goes well--seven weeks earlier even with the loss of time from the month-long holiday break. We'll be checking the landing gear bolts more carefully this time, too. With any luck, I'll be able to point a link towards some images of the wings from above putting a new plane in the air in a week or so--I guess I make a poor power source, so we'll stick to batteries and electric motors.

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