Blog Archives

The Finished Cabin Model

I’ve finally finished my final cabin model! The cabin turned out better than I expected. Here’s a brief summary of how the construction went:

Since I used cardboard to make the walls of my cabin, I had some problems painting it with watercolours, as the paint wasn’t very visible (I could still see the Cheerios logo in the background from where I got the box from). As a result, I decided to cover the cardboard with white paper and then paint over it. This, however, caused to the paper to get really soggy and sometimes rip, so I had to tear off the white paper. Now that I think about it; this idea could have worked a lot better if I were to just use a thicker type of paper – one used especially for water colouring, or if I used a different kind of paint, like the paint used to paint walls. Instead, I thought of a much worse idea by covering the cardboard with drywall compound to help make the paint stick on it more easily (The actual use of drywall compound is to stick sheets of drywall together like a type of plaster or mud). In the end, the drywall compound caused the cardboard walls to curve slightly once it dried. Also, it caused some of the drywall to peel off and/or crack; thus revealing the cardboard within the cabin (in which I had to fix after); although this was probably due to my limited skills in using drywall compound, as the drywall compound appeared really bumpy in texture and had an uneven coating. When I glued every piece together, the four outer walls looked better than I expected (what I expected was having large ovular gaps between each corner in which the walls were glued together; however the walls stayed together appropriately due to the strength of the glue from the glue gun). All in all, I would advise planning your steps beforehand using project management to reduce the workload to yourself and to increase efficiency while working. Here’s a document I found on Google about the basis of Project Management: http://www.personal.psu.edu/mum28/blogs/Mairead/Project%20Management%20Steps.pdf

For the roof of the cabin, I also used cardboard. I cut out the pieces of the cardboard according to the measurements made on AutoCad, and then pieced them together. I then covered the roof with cut out strips of black Bristol board to make the shingles look more realistic. I then added shish-kabob skewers within the roof to act as roof trusses (I don’t have any pictures of that now, but I’ll include them in my next post).

As for what I learned about the process of model-building; I find it quite relaxing and fun to do. Looking at my final product, I feel as if though I’ve accomplished a great goal in my life. Modelling the building allowed me to gain a better  idea about what it was that I was trying to build. While constructing the cabin, I’ve discovered several problems about my design (such as having a roof that was too small to fit a rain barrel within it); hence through modelling I was able to improve my design aesthetically and structurally. In addition, I found it frustrating to work with such small pieces in the cabin; so I guess model-building also requires a lot of patience and diligence.

Here’s a picture of the cabin:

I'll be sure to take more pictures after. The angle on this one's not the best, and the flash makes it look not-as-good

I’ll be sure to take more pictures after. The angle on this one’s not the best, and the flash makes it look not-as-good

Airplane Testing 3

In my two previous posts, I talked about how I tested two of my airplanes, the far flying airplane and my trick flying airplane. In this post, I will talk about how my straight flying airplane flew.

For the straight flying airplane, the airplane must be able to fly as far as possible in a straight path. In order to do this, I made a gliding airplane build with sturdy wings to prevent it from turning or rolling or going upwards. However, instead of flying straight and far as I thought it would, the airplane flew up and made sharp turns to the right, for the first 3 flights. As a result, I decided to add large ailerons on each wing, to possibly “cut” the wind and force the airplane to fly in a straight path. Ultimately, the plane actually flew in a very straight path without performing any rolls, dives, turns or anything else that would interfere with its flight pattern.

On the final day of tests, I had to fly all 3 of my flights, all of which were upgraded to perform based on their name (far, trick and straight flying airplanes). The first plane that I flew was my straight flying airplane. Instead of doing what it was supposed to be doing when I was testing it, the airplane made a great turn to the right; therefore having a great angle of deviation, which is bad. In the end, the straight flying airplane was a bust, a failure. The second airplane that I flew was the far flying airplane. By increasing the ailerons significantly, the plane flew very far and glided for a long time. But this was only for one of the flights. After the airplane glides, it immediately dives into the ground; thus bending the tip of the airplane harshly, and decreasing the aerodynamics of the airplane. Finally, my final airplane, which was the trick flying airplane flew quite well. I changed the way I threw the plane by launching it upwards with an underhand throw, instead of throwing it in front of me. This way, the trick airplane would have more time to “dance” in the sky. For all 3 of the trick airplane flights, the trick airplane performed nicely, as it performed several loops and some spins (only when it dives into the ground).

Airplanes Testing 2

          In the previous post, I talked about the tests I’ve done to my first paper airplane, the far flying airplane. This time, I’ve tested my second plane, the trick flying airplane. (and by tested I mean in a space with a high ceiling and a wide space without any wind to blow my plane away). In the first couple test flights, I launched the airplane in approximately a 25 degree angle. Oddly enough, the first thing it does is that it dives right into the ground. The trick airplane is supposed to be rated based on the number of spins or loops it does, and how it “dances” in the air. Luckily, when the plane dived into the ground, it made 2-4 spins, which I think is alright for the first test flights. Afterwards, an acquaintance of mine told me to throw the plane upwards, almost vertically, so that when it dives into the ground it would have a chance to gain enough lift and fly upwards; therefore making a loop. I tried doing this, and the results were better than I expected! Instead of plummeting into the ground, the airplane actually made a couple of loops in the sky, and then dive vertically into the ground, while making 2-3 spins also. 

The factor causing the airplane to hit the ground is probably because of the size of the ailerons. As a result, I plan on decreasing the size of the ailerons significantly or even remove them altogether, although this might also limit the tricks that it is capable of doing. So, I might even add elevators in addition to the ailerons to possibly increase the number of loops that it can do before it swirls into the ground. Or maybe I can even fold the airplane wings further downward to increase the lift given to the plane. But I still won’t know the results unless I test the airplane once more, so I might as well do a little more research for creating the best of the best airplanes.


Airplane Testing

          In the previous blog, I talked about how I had to create 3 different airplanes; one that can fly as far as possible, one that flies as straight as possible and one that is capable of doing loops and tricks in the sky. Now that a week has passed, I’ve finally finished all 3 of my airplanes! This website helped me create one of my paper flying airplanes (referred to as the Lightning Paper Airplane in the website). I adjusted some of the ailerons (side flaps) and elevators (bottom of wing flaps) to change some of the flight characteristics. I suggest that everyone take a look at this website. There is a great selection of paper airplanes that could be created, and this site includes a great number of them.

<p><A HREF=”http://www.paperairplanes.co.uk/planes.php”>paper airplane designs</A> – How to make the best paper airplanes for free.</p>

          So far, I have tested my far flying airplane (and by tested I mean in a space with a high ceiling and a wide space without any wind to blow my plane away). The far flying airplane flies and glides for a long time; however in all 6 of my test flights, it kept making U-turns and then landing about 5 feet behind me! This is probably because I folded one of my ailerons too deeply, which made my far flying airplane role too much. Also my angle of attack ranged from around 25 to 40 degrees in all my test flights, which I now think is a little too great for paper airplanes. One more thing that might affect this is that while I was testing my airplane, I launched it with all the force I had, because I thought the harder I threw it, the more thrust it would have. The airplane that I was using for far flying was actually more of a “gliding airplane;” hence as it gains more thrust, there will be more air pressure to increase the lift and then send the plane turning in whatever direction. In my case, making a U-turn behind me. Other paper airplanes with smaller and more narrow wingspans will be able to fly in a straight direction; however without an actual, powerful force acting beneath them, I have found that they would fly only as far as how hard they were thrown. What I want to do is to create an airplane that can fly a straight path and glide without exerting too much force. As a result, I will make a few more adjustments to the far flying paper airplane I have now.

Airplanes of Paper

         The first engine powered airplane was designed and created by the Wright brothers. Through hard work and determination, the brothers became famous, wealthy, and in addition, recognized the dream of being able to soar the skies.

          What I have to do is to create three paper airplanes, all of which are designed to meet a specific flight pattern. One of them must fly as far as any paper airplane can fly. Another needs to fly in a straight path, without crashing into anything or going aloof. Finally, the last airplane must be an acrobatics airplane, as it will be measured on how many loops or turns it can do. To create the airplanes, everything needs to be documented like how the Wright brothers documented all their successful and non-successful creations. As a result, I must keep all the paper airplanes that I create, and write the blueprints that I used for my primary airplanes. This is also a good thing, as I will be able to learn more from my past errors and improve on them as I continue making more airplanes.

          I searched many different airplane designs through the internet and different books. I found many complex paper airplane creations; however they didn’t fly as well as they were difficult to create. In fact, the best airplane design that I found was the generic airplane (in the picture), which was able to fly quite far (compared to the other airplanes that I found). Finally, in order to create my three airplanes, I decided to make a few adjustments to the generic paper airplane designs like folding up the tip of the airplane or cutting the paper to make a vertical stabilizer and rudder. I also attempted making my very own paper airplane designs (of all of these designs, I used one of the airplanes as my acrobatics airplane). 

     In the end, I discovered that the best approach to airplanes is the simplest approach. “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein