Wednesday at U-Design

I began the day discussion air flow, air foils, and the phenomena of lift.  Using some simulations from NASA we examined how air flowed over an air foil to create the lift which allows planes to fly.

Computer drawing of an airliner showing the lift vector.

After my explanation using the computer simulation, we had a demonstration of the Wind Tunnel by Aaron Y. who is an undergraduate in the BU department of Mechanical Engineering. (That is not Aaron in this picture).  The giant wind tunnel in the back of our teaching lab has a row a manometers which measure the air pressure at various points in the air foil.

David Campbell demonstrate a Wind TunnelThe Airfoil Surface Pressure Experiment, mounted in the Instructional Wind Tunnel

At 11AM Professor Grace returned to demonstrate the Smoke Tunnel.   The Smoke Tunnel allows smoke to flow over an air foil so we can visualize the flow of air over an wing.

At 2PM we received a tour of the BU Satellite program from Professor Fritz.  In BUSAT BU undergraduate students are building a real satellite which they hope will launch into space.

For projects today the main goal was to finish up our airplanes.  In the afternoon we switched gears and started working on Rockets. Most of the students began working on their Estes Rockets. I like to order my rockets from HobbyLinc.  You can buy most rockets for $10-20.  The engines cost a few extra dollars, but the rockets are reusable, as long as you don’t lose them in the trees, river, roofs of houses….  Most of the students built Alpha rockets, although some of the kids built either the Baby Bertha or the Voyager or  Eagle.