Aerospace Engineer Students' Gliders Takeoff
One of the key projects for this semester’s Aerospace Engineering students was to build and fly a glider. The students have been working on this project since September. There are many steps that include:
• Constructing the glider out of balsa wood
• Wrapping the planes with Monokote covering to coat the gliders properly for the right functionality
• Installing the control systems
• Fitting the servos that allow you to move the elevator and rudder
• Balancing the glider so the aircraft can fly in a straight path.
“We balanced our gliders by putting on a leveler and applying weights until the plane could stay level. Then we placed the weights in the nose of the glider. We then hung the plane from a string connected to the wings to make sure it was not heavier on one side. Lastly we made calculations on the airfoil chord, wingspan, aspect ratio, wing surface area, weight and wing loading of the plane,” said Aaron Lippert, Aerospace Engineering Associate
The project culminated in finally getting to fly the gliders at Heritage Park in late November.
“We had a great time seeing our projects that we have worked on for so long take to the air. It was a great feeling of accomplishment knowing that what started as small pieces of balsa wood is now a graceful glider floating through the air. This was also the first time I had ever flown an RC aircraft outside. It was a blast to fly our gliders,” said Mitch Matenbrook, Aerospace Engineer Associate.