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1/2KD

Boeing Flight Competition 2008

TEAM MEMBERS
Haftom Dessalegn
Kiki Mentan
David Agyeman

Introduction 1-6

Construction .3-4

Detail calculation6-8

Bibliography 9-0

How to access the UMN wiki..33-43

The KD glider

Abstract
This report reflects our teams effort in building and testing a glider using the
requirements that were given for the Boeing Flight Competition. The objective of this project
was to design and build a glider that would fly the farthest of all other gliders.
The design process consisted of determining the glider dimensions and some analysis on
how to maximize range. The glider had to fit in a 3 inches by 36 inches area of balsa wood with a
thickness of between 1/8 to 1/4 of an inch. Our group did some trade studies of gliders and
calculations to determine what design would work best to meet our objective.
All parts of the glider were made using 1/8336 inches of balsa wood. We used a glue
gun to assemble the parts together, and there was a payload which the glider had to carry
consisting of 2 U.S. quarters. The wing was sanded to make it more aerodynamic and gave a
little bit of camber to it. Parameters such as center of gravity and tail position could be adjusted
using glider design books. The ability to make adjustments proved essential in allowing
successful flight.
We found the initial velocity of the glider that was generated from the rubber band. After
finding the spring constant of the rubber, we were able to get the initial velocity of the glider. To
obtain the final velocity used in our calculations, we performed ten flight tests which were we
recorded by the distance traveled and the time it took. Of the ten measurements, we took the
maximum distance and the time which we used and we were able to find the final velocity of the
glider. Using the initial and final velocity we were able to calculate the average velocity the
glider traveled.
By using the average velocity in drag equations, our team was able to predict the
maximum distance of the glider. The maximum distance we calculated for our glider
corresponded with our actual longest flight, providing the validity of our calculations. During
this project, our team was able to successfully build a glider and predict its action of flight.

Introduction
Our goal for this project was to design an aerodynamically efficient glider that would fly
the farthest. Our team decided to perform calculations of the lift, drag, and maximum range.
Upon doing so, it tested our knowledge of the effects of aerodynamic forces on flying objects.
We used some information from trade studies and personal knowledge of aircraft flight to create
the glider.
The parameter we were limited to working with the glider had to fit in a 3x36 inches area
and carry a payload of 2 U.S quarters. With this limitation, we had to achieve the farthest range
possible. Knowing the gliders maximum dimensions, the method of launching the glider and the

environment it would fly in, our team set out to design three gliders, and then pick the one of the
three with the most range.
Though two members of the team are in the Aerospace Engineering field, they didnt
have any experience building a glider, yet personal knowledge was a big contributing factor to
the glider design. Initially, we divided the project into three parts: Haftom was in charge of
design, Kiki was in charge of manufacturing, and David was in charge of documentation. All of
us were to do the testing and lunching together.
Our team first used information on glider designs and calculations to determine what
design will meet our objective the best. Once the design was finalized and built, test flights
where performed to determine which one of the three met our objective.
Design:
When we start working on this project each individual team member did a trade study.
One of the main things that every member of the group discovered was, in order for us to meet
our objective, we should make a glider that has the highest aspect ratio possible so as to have the
maximum possible lift over drag ratio and that will lead us to get maximum range. The second
thing that our group agreed on was to design and build three gliders with different aspect ratio as
well as different fuselage, wing and tail configuration. {fig (..), fig(..), fig(..)}.
We decided earlier on to have a highest aspect ratio (AR) with a wing span of 20 inches.
The debatable parameter of the wing was the chord. The chord would have to be wide enough to
maximize surface area to achieve the greatest lift, but short enough to reduce induced drag. We
knew that a taper wing can decrease the amount of induced drag so we decided that a good
compromise between the two would be a chord length of 2 inches at the fuselage and 1.75 inches
on the tip of the chord. This will give our glider an aspect ratio of 10.67. The tail of our glider
would be used to stabilize flight, but not to produce any additional lift. For the tail we chose a Ttail in order to reduce weight and keep the horizontal stabilizer out of the turbulent flow from the
wing.
Construction
Materials used in building were 1/8336 sheet balsa wood. We used hot glue since it
dries faster than traditional wood glue. We used a laser cut in order to have a more precise cut as
well as to better use every inch of the balsa wood. We also utilized CAD software (Solidworks)
to design our glider. The wing was sanded to make it smooth and give a camber feel to it in order
to get better aerodynamic efficiency. We put the two U.S. quarters in the nose of the glider in
order to find the center of gravity

Fig (..) with T-tail and aspect ratio of 10.67

Then after doing some fight tests, we found out that glider #3 with aspect ratio had a better range
that the other two. Not to mention the other two got broken during testing, so we decided to use
glider #3 for the competition.We used solidworks to design the parts of the glider, that way by
saving it as a .dwg file we can get the parts of the glider to be laser cut.

Fig (.) This is how our glider parts fit on a 1:1 scale to the 3 by 36 inches balsa wood
requirement

Fig
(..)
by using this CAD file we laser cut the parts of the glider

Fig(..) now using this parts we can start sanding the wing, the fuselage and the tail to make the
glider more aerodynamic.

Fig (...) here you see part of the glider sanded and ready to assemble.

Fig(..) this is the assembly portion where we used a hot glue gun to put our glider together.

Fig(..) we put the two quarters in the nose of the glider, inside the fuselage to give a better
aerodynamic efficiency to the glider.

Fig(..) finding the center of gravity (cg) of the glider.

Fig(..) by attaching the wing to the fuselage using a rubber band we checked to see if the center
of gravity you selected previously, is the right place. It helps a hassle.

Fig(.) after assembly, a fishing line was used to hang the glider from a ceiling in order to balance
the center of gravity.

Fig(..) this is the finished product of the glider using solidworks software.

Detail calculations:

Data taken from table 1, at the maximum distance the glider flew;

Xmax=76.5ft
tmax=4.3 sec
where a= ma=-D
1
X max Vt at 2
2

X max 1
at
t
2

Giving data:

Solve for V

2.23769 10 3

V 20.2

slugs
ft 3

ft
s

S 0.2604 ft 2

L W

0.112435754 lb (51grams) we assumed L=W

3.73 10 9

slugs
ft.s

AR 10.67
h 2.5 ft

Dynamic Pressure

1
1
lb
2
V2 2.2377 103 20.20 0.45 2
2
2
ft

Lift coefficient

CL

L
0.1124

0.95
q S 0.45 0.2604

Friction drag

D Lf

1.328q L

V S

1.328 0.45 0.1124

5.335 10 6 lb
0.1124 20.20 0.2604
3.73 10 9

C Lf

D Lf
q S

5.335 10 6
4.55 10 4
0.45 0.2604

Induced drag coefficient

CL2
0.95

0.0269
3.14 AR 3.14 10.67
2

CDi

Induced drag
Di q SC Di 0.45 0.2604 0.0269 0.00315lb

Total drag

Dtot D Lf Di 5.335 10 6 0.00315 0.003155 lb

Range (max)

L
Rmax h

max

0.1124
2.5
89.05 ft
0.003155

Conclusion
Some of the assumptions we made as predicted values, were not the same as the max
range of the actual value but were close(76.5ft). This was the best distance that we of our ten
trials. We are glad that we got that far but we are sure our glider can do better since the actual
distance we measured is less than what we are supposed to get.
We needed to find the spring constant (k) of our rubber band in order to find the initial
velocity of our glider. Since the spring constant is different with different types of rubber bands
we decided to find the spring constant of two different types of rubber bands and we called them
rubber band 1 and 2.

Fig ...: Finding the length change (5.25 in)off of Rubber band 1 after applied a weight (0.65 lb) to fing the spring
constant(K1)

Fig ...: Finding the length change(2.5 in) off of Rubber band 2 after applied a weight (0.65 lb) to fing the
constant(K2)

(Vi )
Now using the kinetic enregy equation we can solve for initial velocity

Ke

1
mVi 2
2

Ke
and

1
2
Kxi
2

xi

where is how long the rubber band is stretched

when launching the glider.

xi
Fig(..) determining the value of

So now to find the spring constant (K)

F Kx

where

F ma

spring

x
m
Where is the weight of the glider (0.1124 lb), a is the gravitational constant (32.2) and
is
how long the rubber band stretched when weight is applied to find the spring constant.
K

ma
x

Now solve for K1 and K2

Where

K1

x 1 5.25in

x 2 2.5in
and

0.65lb 32.2

K2

5.25

ft
12

K 1 47.84

0.65lb 32.2
2 .5

ft
12
K 2 100.5

Now we can solve the initial velocity of the glider using two different rubber bands.
1
1
2
2
Ke Kxi mVi
2
2

Vi

Kxi
m

We know that
xi1 19in
Now the initial velocity for the two different types of rubber bands, where
xi 2 15.5in
will be
Vi1

Vi1

K 1 xi1
m

47.8419 / 12 2
0.1124

Vi1 32.66 ft / sec

Vi 2

Vi 2

K 2 xi 2
m

and

100.515.5 / 12 2
0.1124

Vi 2 38.6 ft / sec

Since the initial velocity from rubber band 2 higher than rubber band 1, we decided to use rubber
band 2 to launch our glider with.

Solving for the final velocity of the glider:

ma D

Where

glider

D q SC D

2ARL2
V f2

is the weight of the glider (0.1124 lb), D drag and a is the acceleration
but it is going to be constant this time since the lift from the wing on the
comes into play.
q

1
V f2
2

CD

C L2
3.14 AR

Where

CL

and

L
q S

where L W 0.1124lb , AR 10.67 and 2.23769 10 3

slugs
ft 3

2ARL2
a
m V f2
X max Vi t

1 2
at
2

Where Xmax =76.5ft is the maximam distance the glider flew, and t=4.3 sec is the time it took to
fly Xmax.
1 2ARL2
X max Vi t
2 m V f2

t2

(Vi )

it