This week in the CAPS Aerospace class the class continued to wrap up all the work on the simulator. As we all began to conclude our projects and prepare for next year. Most groups did this by finishing all set goals, which most of the time meant concluding their projects. The Blackout curtain group was happy to find out that their ordered materials showed up earlier than expected but when they opened it, not so much joy. Turned out that the accessories and connecters that they order specifically for the cut-to-length metal were all too big. So they had to quickly come up with a solution and find new parts, own up to their mistake and move on. They found new parts that are supposed to work with the special metal.
Meanwhile the instrument panel group made another big step, fixing the previous identified problem with where the flight yoke would be placed, before it was placed to low which would have made it very had on the pilot to get full functionality out of the yoke, and they also created and prepared for final installation of the main panels and switches. They worked together with the switch group and installed all switches and wires that go along with the switches, and even coated and gave the panel a two-tone color. The panel now looks as close to replica you can get, with the caramel top with a black, anodized look, on the bottom panel.
Late last week and into early this week the class decided on their final, choosing a project based final. The class came together to pick a final that was both feasible and related to what the class has spent all their time on. The class chose to reflect on their time here and set up all necessary documentation for future students. They pull all notes, information together to create a central database for all the future students who will work on the simulator down the road. And the class all prepared for the end of the year and for the seniors, the end of their high school careers. Aerospace Associate, Eric Hissong
This week has been a very productive week for Aerospace CAPS! We worked hard on the simulator, especially making it more aesthetically pleasing. The front panel group accomplished a lot, finally installing the front panel and all of the switches. The blackout curtain group put in an order to be approved for the metal, which will immensely help the simulator get closer to looking complete. The programmers have made headway, installing a potpourri of wires, which will get the software close to being done. On Thursday, all of the groups gave status reports for the rest of the semester. We declared where we are and what will not be finished by the end of the year for the next semester students. On Friday, we finished with our reports and the blackout curtain group finished carpeting the step to enter the cockpit. As for myself, I have started on building a glider with another student, Liz, hoping that we could possibly fly by the end of the semester. On top of that, people continue logging flight hours on the glider sim. Aerospace Associates -Julie Kay Bride and Andrew Bryant
The Aerospace Engineer students took a site visit to the Garmin Hanger in New Century, Kansas. The New Century Air Center is home of Garmin test flights. Garmin tests the new and the most advanced avionics that will later give an easier way to navigate and display your flight readings.
While the Aerospace students were at the New Century Air Center they were headed to test terrain avoidant systems at low altitudes. The Students were able to tour the entire building and most of the planes and jets in the hangers. The Aerospace Engineer Associates were also able to fly the three flight simulators that test pilots use before heading out for flight. The students are currently involved in making these simulators and able to gain the experience of how these systems work to get a better understanding of how their simulator will work.
Updates on Flight Simulator:
This week with the simulator the groups went back to work with much to do still. The two groups that have been working with the Instrument Panel ran into some trouble with the location of switches, and had to go through the engineering process in order to fix the problem, and create another prototype.
Another group got their final rate in for the cost of the material to be able to build the blackout curtain, and hope to get Mr. Ralston to check off on the order to be able to get the funds necessary to order them. The simulator was up and running multiple times throughout the week so that testing could be done to get rid of any glitches in the system. – Blake Mann, Aerospace Engineering Associate
This week in the CAPS Aerospace program was filled with simulator work. There was no school on Monday, but on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday included work on Project SOAR. Many projects have made progress, including a prototype of the front panel (which will house our G-1000's, and other instrument panels). Our foam cutter project is also making head way by working on the designs on the cutter and motor mounts. The foam cutter also is almost done with the wiring stage. The throttle quadrant is coming along, but some parts were required. the parts have since been ordered. While not all projects are on the final approach of completion, all are on or getting near prototyping. Andrew Cobb, Aerospace Engineering Associate
This week in CAPS Aerospace was spent getting ready for and then travelling to the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson, Kansas. The trip was quite an experience.
We began the trip by coming to the CAPS building at 4:30 a.m. in the morning, to meet with our classmates to board the school bus assigned to take us to Hutch. Before we boarded we had already done some background research in the days ahead of the trip to understand the exhibits we would see, as well as what other things of interest would be there to experience. Something we couldn’t prepare for was the trip down and back on the school bus.
It was a really long drive there. We started out from the CAPS building at 5:00 a.m. sharp. We stopped a few times along the way to eat and get gas. It was also really cold out, so on the way down most of us were sleeping. We took highways all the way there so it was faster than before. I had been to Space Camp at the Cosmosphere in Hutch a couple of times before, and there were a few new things to see. We arrived there around a while later and were ready to experience all the Cosmosphere had to offer.
Next we went into the Planetarium. A Planetarium has a domed ceiling on which the night sky is displayed. We watched a movie on proof that we went to the moon. The movie lasted about 45 minutes, and was really interesting. The movie presented some good points, and then made a concise argument on why we really did go to the moon.
By noon we were in Dr. Goddard’s Lab. There we learned about how rockets work, and then got to experience it. The instructor took a ball of cotton, and stuck it in a small tub filled with liquid oxygen. He took it out and lit it on fire with a torch. To our surprise it exploded with a load boom. It was strong enough that it made the doors open and shut just a bit. We also learned about how rocketry was formed. It was kind of cool watching the unmanned rockets as they tried to take off, and then explode. It was good that they were unmanned.
We split up into groups to take a tour of the facility. We started in the Museum, and went through the German B1 and B2 Rockets. Then we saw the exhibits of items leading up to the Cold War, and then the Space Race. There was a new exhibit on the ISS that was interesting to see. We next experienced the IMAX Theater, where we saw a movie about air racing. Air Racers are highly modified planes that go real fast. An example would be a P-51 Mustang. It was really cool, but the straight edges of the wings were strangely distorted by the curved screen of the theater. We ate lunch which consisted of Pizza, soda and chips. It actually was pretty good, because we had been up so early.
At 2:00 p.m. we boarded the bus back for home. The ride home was just as bumpy. The weather outside had warmed up. The way home was a lot more side roads and a lot more bumpy. Fortunately, we arrived home safely just after 6:00 p.m. with many new experiences. – Conner Beese, Aerospace Engineering Associate
This week was great and full of action. On Monday and Tuesday we continued testing our gliders that we designed in the Aery program. We began repairing and doing anything we believe would make it fly better. We also did a little competition to see who had the glider with the longest distance. Unfortunately I did not win but I was very close. Wednesday we continued our weekly work with the simulator and catching up on it from all the snow days and spring break. We had lots of mentors come in for lots of projects. We also did a class meeting to know where we are and what our next goals in completing Project SOAR are. The class also agreed that we will be going to the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson Kansas on Tuesday April 9th. So we are all excited for that. Thursday goes by really fast but we were very productive and continued work on our projects. Friday the class discussed where we got with the project in the past two days. – Eric Hissong, Aerospace Engineering Associate
This week in Aerospace Engineering we have been improving our engineering skills with many projects and assignments. Using knowledge of the construction of our first balsa wood model glider (using AERY, the glider flight simulator), we made a second balsa wood model glider. The second glider was a great improvement from the first; we built the glider with better design specifications, construction techniques, and faster. We also improved our RC flying skills by using Real Flight simulator and logging our flight hours. The students, who have already completed Real Flight simulator, have been practicing their RC flying skills by flying the Night Vapor, a small, powered RC plane that can fly inside the building.
For LegionDrone we are continuing our construction of the plane and we are hoping for a test flight earlier next week. We have been working rigorously on trying to get everything done and we are soon to see what our work has done. We are seeing if we will connect with some companies to do some Ariel photography as well as flyovers of their building. The first thing on our list is to do a flyover of the CAPS building. Progress for LegionDrone has been exceptional and we are extremely excited to see our accomplishments in action. – Kirby Alaimo, Aerospace Engineering Associate
This week at Aerospace Engineering has been one of the most productive my partner and I have seen. Beginning with our special project, we have finally gotten our last parts ordered, and on the way. This is after weeks of changes, upgrades, and improvements to the original list we specked out. We even had to order from one international warehouse to get the specific parts needed on our drone. Our drone is quickly becoming a reality as each new shipment comes in. Our time was not only spent on parts though! We also spent a large amount of time updating software on parts we currently have, and putting the final touches on our project plan so that we could have a printed Gantt chart to really see our progress every day. One of the objectives on that plan was mastering flight via online simulator, small-scale remote control planes, and one full-scale plane. We have spent countless hours flying and mastering techniques with these resources. - Jeffrey Jeff Jacobs, Aerospace Engineering Associate
The students in our class have been designing small-scale gliders on a computer software that tests the probability of the plane having successful flights. Once they have an approved glider, they print a blueprint of the design so that they can fabricate their glider. This as well as getting certified on a software that you can fly remote control planes on has taken most of the remaining class time. We must be cleared to fly a glider, helicopter, and power plane by our instructor before we can fly the night vapor, a light weight remote controlled plane we fly indoors. We are looking forward to finishing our flight training so that when we finish building our drone then we won't crash! -Jeffrey Higgins, Aerospace Engineering Associate
Students visited Garmin to work with Engineers Allwyn Samuel and Nick Mucci, as they learn how to operate the G1000 avionics equipment in the Garmin Auditorium.
This week in aerospace engineering was a short one. We only had the first three days and then we had two snow days. But in those three days we did get actual work done. Monday and Tuesday we focused on the AERY program and learning the basics. The AERY program is a computer program that was created by a college student to allow the user to create a small, simple glider. We would be given parameters for the glider and then we would adjust the data according to what was needed. At the end we would be told—by the program—that our gliders would be able to fly. Along with this it also gave us a number which rated our glider on how well the design worked—the higher the better. The Aerospace students were also lucky to be able to explore the Garmin World Headquarters. While there, we were given a presentation on the Garmin G1000 navigational computers. With the three computers that Garmin had granted us, this was extraordinarily useful so that any student in the program is now able to operate them with some extent of experience. After that, we were given a tour of the Garmin facility, and showed all of the new products and work areas that the company has. Their design areas, testing facilities, and product showcase were all shown, and we got a chance to learn about all of them. Thanks again to Garmin and the people kind enough to take time to show us around. - Elliott Miller and Connor Russo, Aerospace Engineering Associates
Greetings from the CAPS Aerospace Engineering Class! This past week we have continued to expand our knowledge flight principals and mechanics by working on our own classroom flight simulator and by beginning a project that involves designing and flying our own glider aircraft.
One of the most critical parts of the engineering process is the project planning phase. Countless engineers will tell you that million dollar accidents have been caused by poor project planning, and this is why the Aerospace students have been focusing so heavily on this idea for the past few days. The flight simulator project poses a wide variety of engineering problems and challenges for us to work through, but before we can resume work on it we must first plan out how we are going to tackle each aspect of it. Students have been splitting off into teams to work on different areas of the simulator ranging from software development and integration to creating a "blackout curtain" that will surround the simulator and block out artificial light. Each of these teams has then broken down their area of the simulator into even smaller sub-components and then come up with a plan of how they are going to make it all come together and work. We were also very fortunate to have several mentors from the avionics and aerospace industry return to help us complete this monumental task.
In addition to our work on the flight simulator we have also begun a new glider building project that will finish with each student competing to see whose glider can fly the furthest in the CAPS atrium. On Tuesday we dug into AERY software. AERY software is a program created by a college student to access the design of a glider and whether it will fly or not. Over the next couple of weeks we will be finalizing our glider designs and creating them in class to have a competition. New Aerospace students have been continuing to use Real Flight R/C flight simulator to get comfortable with flying R/C aircraft to be able to use the class set of night vapors to fly around the atrium.
On Monday we were very fortunate to have Debbie Wadhams, a seasoned pilot and flight instructor, come and talk to our class about aircraft aerodynamics and what it takes to make it as a pilot. We talked in detail about what conditions are needed to cause an airplane to stall and how to avoid them. Mrs. Wadhams taught us that it is the angle of attack that causes a stall, not the airspeed. As an airplane pitches its nose upwards and climbs it will increase its "angle of attack" until it reaches a point where the nose is pitched so far upwards that air will no longer flow over the wing, and the airplane will stall.
Wednesday in class we had another guest speaker from Garmin talk to us about product development of the Garmin Nuvi and the successes and failures that Garmin has gone through in the creation and progression of the Nuvi.
Thursday in class we had speaker Bob Riddle talk to students about astronomy and deep space. He also took the time to introduce us to project Ascent which is a ongoing project done last year with the Aerospace class where they took a camera and some data recording equipment and sent a balloon up in the atmosphere to about 95,000 feet above Kansas city gathering data and recording the process of the balloons ascent and fall back down to Earth. –Jake Block and Chris Wall CAPS Aerospace Engineering Associates
Hello everyone! This week in Aerospace: February 5, 1918. Lt. Stephan W. Thompson claims the first US aerial victory by taking down a German Albatross D III.
Now, as for more current topics, the Aerospace Engineering class has continued their work into the flight simulation and design concepts, with Fly to Learn walking through the basics of aircraft specifications. We focused on working through our X-Plane designs using the Plane Maker software. We first looked at Wing Loading. This aspect of aerospace is important because the greater the airplane weighs, the longer the runway needs to be. What do airplane designers do when they need to carry a larger payload, but still take off on the same runway length? Simple, you find the wing load for every square foot on the wing and then design the wing to be able to lift the aircraft and payload up in a certain amount of time.
The next task was to find the power loading for the airplane. The power loading is the ratio of weight to power. Power, or thrust, works to overcome drag and pull or push the aircraft along. We learned about the three types of horsepower, specific fuel consumption, and range. Engineers use the ratio to predict airplane performance. But along with the increase of power also comes tradeoffs, such as wing design. The brake horse power of and engine equals the power to overcome drag. Then there is thrust horsepower, which equals brake horse power divided by 0.80. And finally there is cruise horsepower, which equals the thrust horsepower divided by 0.75. So from there we increased the power of the plane to see the results it produces and what else it can affect.
Put more simply, we found a specific part of the aircraft to remodel, and did so under different measurements, to see which would be the best. As of late, the last stage is underway, featuring the full design of an aircraft, intended to meet criteria that an everyday consumer might need. It’s hard work, but much like the career, it’s well worth the effort.
Aerospace was also lucky enough to join in on the presentation from Torotel, an Engineering firm based right here in Olathe, KS. Torotel creates a number of products, and the Aerospace class was able to listen in and hear about the process for such a company to improve, as well as some of their specialty products.
Lastly, the newer students were issued their Flight Logs, which, when used with the model glider and powered plane simulators, will establish them as qualified and capable to fly the real deal. Much like piloting a real plane, it requires, diligence, precision, meticulous planning, and a steady grip.
That’s all for this week. Be sure to tune in every week to stay up to date with the activities of Aerospace! - Connor Russo and Elliott Miller, Aerospace Engineering Associates
The winning team presents their innovative design. The glider, dubbed “The Sting-Ray”
and “The Leaf,” was practically all wings, making it very light and generating a lot of lift.
This created a very stable and long flight for the glider.
Aerospace engineering students work together on the glider they had only
twenty minutes to design and build. This allowed us to use all of the knowledge
we have gained working with the X-Plane simulator over the past couple of weeks.
This week in Aerospace engineering was a very busy one. We spent a great deal of time working on our fly-to-learn packets in which we use the X-plane 9 software to complete. This part of the class is very enjoyable because we are using flight simulators in class when it is a hobby for me in my free time. Now we are able to use them in class as well as learn new concepts about how flight is achieved and how changing certain aspects of the plane will change the way it flies. The fly-to-learn program also uses a separate program that is connected with X-plane and it is called Plane Maker. In Plane Maker, we change the wings, payload and engine strength then test these changes in x-plane and gain a greater knowledge of how things like aspect ratio as well as angle of attack change the stability of aircraft. We created about 10 new aircraft inside of Plane Maker and all of them acted differently inside the simulator. The fly-to-learn program was an interesting way to learn how wing shape can change planes and that there is no perfectly shaped wing. I learned that the wings on airplanes are designed based on the goal of that aircraft. Throughout this week, we spent three of the five days working on X-plane but we were also busy during the other two days
On Tuesday we needed to make a glider in twenty minutes that will fly across the atrium. We were split into four teams then given two 32 inch long balsa wood poles, a roll of tape, and a sheet of brown construction paper. Each team made their own design, one group made a straight wing reverse dihedral, the second made a reverse delta, the third made a tapered wing, and the fourth created a glider whose entire body was a wing. The teams first showed their designs to the class, and then explained to the class why their plane will work the best and why they should get the fictitious grant to put their glider into operation. The group with the reverse dihedral wing flew the farthest initially, but after modifications the wing fuselage flew across the atrium and claimed the prize. Each of us learned a valuable lesson on the creation under extreme time constraints.
On Wednesday, the class took an exciting first step into human-based design. Using the virtual crash course taught at Stanford’s Hasso Plattner Design School, we learned the fundamentals of Ideo’s design thinking. Ideo is a design firm started thirty years ago by Dave Kelly, the backbone of the Stanford D-School and a close friend and business partner of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Their model of radical collaboration, innovative brainstorming and consumer empathy is one that is becoming integral to the CAPS program and its students. So, we joined the Foundations of Medicine class for the class-long workshop. Focusing on the five steps of design thinking –empathizing, defining, ideating, prototyping and testing—we learned the importance of keeping the consumers in mind while we design, solving problems in a way that fills a void and really solves a problem for people. The day started with watching an interview with Dave Kelly illustrating the process in action. We then paired off to start our mock-up of the design process, in which we were to find and address problems in the gift-giving process. To gain empathy with our “client” and identify a problem, we went interviewed them on previous experiences. The next step was looking at their feedback and identifying a problem. We then sketched out solutions and shared feedback on the ideas. Using the feedback and sketches, a final design was born, and then prototyped. From the process, we learned valuable skills for future projects in our class and our careers. -Liz Gaa and Conner Beese, Aerospace Engineering Associates
Week three of aerospace class! It’s crazy we are approaching a month back already! Aerospace has begun to settle back into the flow of our everyday class life. With three of our students having this as their first semester in aerospace, and the other three being returning students, it's a real juggling act every day. The new students have been attending their professional workshop once per week with all of the other new students in the CAPS program. This really gives the returning students a chance to finish first semester projects that need a little more work.
The class has been working on mastering the X-Plane 9 software, an online flight simulation program. We have been spending everyday learning about the different functions of the program, as well as fine-tuning our own abilities flying the planes. While this is going on, the three returning students that have their special projects have been working hard on those to make sure second semester is a successful one. My partner Alex and I mapped out the last of the pieces that we need to buy, as well as finalized our budget, created a Gantt chart for the semester, and practiced flying on another RC plane. The semester is looking bright and we may even be partnering with another student to help with our project! Jeff Jacobs – Aerospace Engineering Associate
When walking in the class on Monday we began to start our training and studying of flight using the X-Plane 9 software. As the class began to work on and with the software studying the four forces that act on an airplane, we saw how lift and drag are related by lowering the flaps and we also studied how weight relates to takeoff distance.
As the class concluded some students went over our simulator and watched, for some being their first time, the simulator start up. And now, they can’t wait to start working on Project Soar to complete the project. – Eric Hissong , Aerospace Engineering Associate
Welcome back aerospace class. We have started out with a bang and jumped right back into the class. We started off by building a simple parachute with a trash bag and a tennis ball. After we constructed the parachute we threw them up in the atrium to test the durability and also the performance of the chute.
Since there are some new students combined with old students we had to get to know each other better. We made basic presentations over ourselves and the main topic was “why should we hire you?” The class also got together to talk about principles and fundamentals for both good entrepreneurs and aerospace engineers. Following that discussion we are making presentations over the history of aerodynamics and rocketry from the early 1800’s to now.
We will also be working on Legion Drone, project created by Jeff Jacobs and myself, to further the research and to finally get all the parts that we need to order in. We hope to start test flying the plane itself when the weather starts to warm up. We are very hopeful to get another larger plane to fit all of the technology that we can in it. – Alex Koch, Aerospace Engineering Associate