what is wright stuff
Wright stuff is a competition where students are tasked to build a model plane that is powered by a rubber band and propeller. Many science and engineering competitions, such as Science Olympiad and the Academy of Model Aeronautics, host wright stuff competitions to help teach basic physic concepts to students.
In this post, we will discuss how to make a great practice log to measure and improve your results.
making a practice log
Why are practice logs important?
Creating a practice log is important for two different reasons:
- It helps you fix and adjust your device to test in a different venue or make improvements
- It is required by the rules and prevents a hefty penalty on your score.
Below you will find the most important and useful factors that should be included on your flight log to improve your productivity and results for your device.
Weight is just a factor you want to measure before each flight to make sure that your are flying your plane at the lowest possible weight, or to find out how much your plane’s flight changes from adjusting its weight.
Generally, if you reduce the weight of your plane, then it is much easier to tune other elements of your plane to improve flight times.
Time aloft is a value you should and must be measuring because it is not only a requirement in the rules but also the primary method in which you are able to compare and analyze the data within your practice log.
If you find that altering a specific element in a specific way increases your time aloft, then you should keep testing until you recognize patterns, which will help you better understand the event and the physics of an airplane.
Max height is a value that you should measure because it allows you to determine if the way you fly your plane allows you to fully utilize the height of the venue you are testing your plane in.
If you find that your max height is not reasonably close to the ceiling, then you should change some of the other aspects of your plane, which we will discuss below.
rubber motor length
Rubber motor length should be measured and adjusted between flights because it significantly affects the amount of torque you plane has, which will affect the flight time of your plane and it max height.
Generally, reducing the rubber motor length increases torque.
rubber motor width
Rubber motor width should be measured and adjusted between flights because it significantly affects the amount of torque you plane has, which will affect the flight time of your plane and it max height.
Generally, increasing the rubber motor width increases torque.
Torque is the amount of rotational power your rubber motors hold and use to turn the plane’s propeller. The amount of your you are able to effectively use will determine how long your plane flies for and the maximum height that your plane will fly.
The best way to record the amount of torque that your rubber motors have is ti wind your rubber motors on a torque meter.
The circle diameter refers to the diameter of the circle that your plane travels in. In order to prevent your plane from hitting any walls, most planes are built with some amount of rudder turn to force the plane to turn. This allows the plane to avoid any walls and gracefully travel upwards.
However, to get the greatest flight time you have to use the a greater amount of space to ravel, meaning that the circle diameter should be as wide as possible.
Motor winds refer to amount of turns you put in your rubber motor using your winder. To get extra precise with the amount of winds you put in your motor it is better use the actual amount of turns in the motor instead of winder turns. For example, if you are using a 15:1 winder and wound the winder 30 times, them you should record the 450 on the rubber motor and not the 30 turns on the winder.
Motor unwinds refer to amount of turns you unwind in your rubber motor using your winder to reduce the initial torque of your plane. To get extra precise with the amount of unwinds in your motor it is better use the actual amount of turns in the motor instead of winder turns. For example, if you are using a 15:1 winder and unwound the winder 2 times, them you should record the 30 unwinds on the rubber motor and not the -2 turns on the winder.
One of the more helpful factors that you could include is a notes section where you outline any changes that you have made other than what has been previously discussed. For example, you may have attempted to test your plane with a new rubber motor or adjust to a completely different testing venue. Recording data like this will allow you to look back at your previous trials an see what worked and what didn’t.