Three Albuquerque teens are going to be representing the United States in Romania as they fly specialized indoor duration rubber-powered airplanes that they developed and built. The teens each built two ultralight indoor competition planes over two months and spent over 100 hours each in the process.
Student competitor Josiah Rose discusses the upcoming competition along with intern Ben Bock, and coach Chuck Andraka.
Seventeen-year-old Josiah will compete for the U.S. Junior team at the international competition in March 2020 along with 15-year-old Anjulie Sorbello, and 15-year-old Monet Ramacciotti. As part of their plane testing, the team test flew and improved their planes in local gyms for over 25 hours of test sessions.
The planes are built from very light balsa wood and a thin plastic covering. The planes have a wingspan of 55 centimeters and only 1.4 grams. In an area with a high ceiling, the planes can fly for over 20 minutes on a 1.4g loop of rubber.
The plane dimensions and weights are governed internationally by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale in the F1D class that holds world championships.
The planes are free flight and are carefully trimmed and adjusted to make for perfect flying and release. Tuning the planes requires immense patience.
The students apply scientific reasoning to determine trends in the flight data and to discover areas for improvement. The teens learned their flying skils through the Science Olympiad high school competitions and competed as part of the Albuquerque Area Home Schoolers team.
The Science Olympiad is currently looking for volunteers to help with their upcoming February 1 competition at UNM. To learn how to get involved, click here.
Be Greater than Average teaches students about the technology of building robots and also emphasizes critical project management skills. The program has served over 1,000 students in the past six years and teaches in an effective learning environment.