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Post from Designing Airplanes

Designing Airplanes | Projects | The Dropper | Portfolio

  • Fall 2012 - studio 3/4

    In this studio, we were tasked with designing and building a remote control airplane. We designed The Dropper, a plane that can hold and drop cargo. Within its lightweight balsa wood, trussed frame, It has a storage compartment connected to a servo motor, so that its contents can be remotely dropped while flying. It steers using servos attached to flaps, using rods, on each of the wings, and a servo attached to the rudder on the vertical stabilizer on the back of the plane. All the servos are connected to an arduino micro controller on the plane, which wirelessly connects to a remote controller that is operated by the user.

     In order to build the plane, we learned about what factors allow a plane to fly, such as its center of gravity, angle of attack, mass, and lift. While designing our plane, we calculated that we would need large wings (~1.5 meters each) to have our plane be able to fly with the propeller that we had, and our heavy cargo. For the wings, we designed and cut an efficient airfoil, which we simulated using a wind tunnel.