Elastic Launched Glider Practice Log Guide
What is elastic launched glider
An elastic launched glider is model plane that is launched into the air by elastic potential energy. Many science and engineering competitions, such as Science Olympiad and the Academy of Model Aeronautics, host elastic and catapult launched glider competitions to help teach basic physic concepts to students.
In this post, we will discuss how to use your practice log to 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 should be measured and adjusted between flights because it significantly affects the amount of power your plane has, which will affect the flight time of your plane and its max height.
Generally, reducing the rubber motor length increases power.
Rubber motor width should be measured and adjusted between flights because it significantly affects the amount of power your plane has, which will affect the flight time of your plane and its max height.
Generally, increasing the rubber motor width increases power.
length of pulled rubber
The amount that you pull the rubber will affect the amount of power that your plane has and should be used and modified to calculate how to reach the maximum ceiling height at your testing venue.
The launch angle should be measured before each flight because it will affect how high your glider will reach. Additionally, launch angle is a key value to know and understand for mastering transitions.
The larger the launch angle, the more power is needed to prevent your glider from stalling and the higher your plane will transition.
The bank angle should be measured before each flight because it will affect how high your glider will reach. Additionally, bank angle is a key value to know and understand for mastering transitions.
The larger the bank angle, the less power is needed to prevent your glider from stalling and the tighter will circle in.
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.
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.