What a great time we had at Shuttleworth!
We studied how planes fly exploring centre of lift and centre of gravity. We adjusted the c/g to achieve the longest flight. We looked at the effect of reflex to orientate the wing and give optimum pitch. How a separate stabiliser achieves this more accurately. We then designed our own planes with a tail plane and learned how to adjust the pitch to achieve level flight. In the afternoon we built Multichucks - T&S unique glider that compares different wing shapes of the same area and tested these.
Began with a guided tour of the collection to see and interact with a number of significant aircraft in terms of setting new standards and breaking records. We learned masses about the thinking behind the earliest gliders up to the aircraft of the 1940s. We then returned to the bus and designed scale models of three of the aircraft in the collection; The English Electric Wren famous for its flight of 83 miles on 1 gallon of petrol; the Percival Mew Gull famous for its London to Capetown and back in 4 days by owner and Spitfire test Pilot Alex Henshaw and finally the Supermarine Spitfire because it would probably make a very poor glider without a lot of nose weight and therefore would later suit the addition of a power train.
Refining our gliders. All gliders were scaled up by the students from drawings and the wing area artificially enlarged. Using our on board computer suite we traced images of the aircraft and turned them into gliders. Powered aircraft do not easily transfer to a glider format because of the requirement for a huge lump at the front, so we used different materials for the nose to keep the likeness of the aircraft. In competition the Mew Gull went the furthest probably because it was the heaviest with least wing area - giving advantage by throwing it hard! On a calibrated launcher the Wren was lightest and most buoyant . . .of course. So this was selected for turning into a kit for use at the Airshow on Sunday. We rounded off the camp with some capacitor planes modified with wings from the Multichuck. Aer0camp 2 will begin with modifying a glider to take power and this will prove to be more tricky than we might think!! Watch this space!
The first couple of days were sunny and bright but the Friday less so. Nevertheless we had our awning to keep us dry with plenty of space to make and test our designs. Each participant made at least three versions of their aircraft with incremental modifications and then they laser-cut their updated kits. Every so often we'd stop to watch a flying machine of some sort take off from the grass runway and on Sunday's airshow in the intermittent rain we enjoyed a sheltered and elevated view of our own from the bus of the airfield. Luxury.
Aer0camp is here to stay!
We are planning the next one for this particular group to include power trains and control systems. Sign up for Aer0camp info or enquire if we can come to your school or village hall with our amazing Aer0bus!