June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.25.1 - 15.25.13
A DESIGN-BUILD-TEST-FLY PROJECT INVOLVING MODELING, MANUFACTURING, AND TESTING
This paper describes a junior-level semester-long class project for students in Fluid Mechanics courses. The goals of the project are to introduce students to engineering design, project management, and to incorporate material from other courses in engineering graphics, numerical methods, instrumentation and measurements, and manufacturing processes in a single project. The project focuses on airfoil design using computational tools, and the main emphasis lies on verification of results obtained from computational methods with experimentally measured values. Students will use the airfoil shape they select to make wings to go on a model foam glider. The final part of the project will be staged as a competition where student teams vie to see whose glider can fly the furthest under standard launching conditions.
Previously in order to introduce students to engineering design before their senior design capstone experience, a semester-long rocket project was implemented in the junior-level fluid mechanics course at Bradley University as described in the paper by Morris and Zietlow1. In that project student teams of 3-4 students each had to design and build a small model rocket, with the goal of the rocket landing in a target area on a baseball field on its very first launch. Part of the score for the project was assigned based on the efficiency of each team in using the resources available to them, as measured in the amount of “Bradley Bucks” they spent to complete the project. Note that it is easy to create money for these projects by downloading the template for Monopoly Money from Hasbro2 and Photoshopping in the faces of professors in your department. Printing on brightly colored paper works well to discourage counterfeiting. While the rocket project was quite successful and well-liked by the students, it has the limitation of that the best rockets end up all looking the same, as the primary design variables available to the student are the size of the fins and the amount of weight in the nose cone.
To improve upon this, a new project has been designed. The first objective of the new project is to design a airfoil for launch speeds less than 10 mph and for angle of attack from 0 to 10 degrees, to be tested on a glider. A 2D aerodynamics CFD tool, such as the freely available XFOIL3, FOILSIM4,5, or JAVAFOIL6 is the computational tool used in the analysis of the lift and drag coefficients. Student can use any airfoil shape they want, but to keep the project simple, the NACA 4-digit series of airfoils is recommended. After finding the airfoil shape that gives the highest lift to drag ratio (L/D) based on the computational results, an airfoil will be built and tested in a wind tunnel to verify the computational results. First a 3D solid model of the airfoil is made in drafting software such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks, or Pro-E, and then the 3D airfoil section is made with a CNC milling machine or a rapid prototype machine. Though not required in the project, some students also made the fuselage of their gliders with the CNC machine. The students must devise a way to attach end plates to the narrow airfoil section to minimize the induced drag effects, and they must also devise a method for mounting the airfoil section in the wind tunnel. If the results of the wind tunnel testing are acceptable to the student team, they may proceed to the final stage of constructing a model glider. If not, they may select a different airfoil
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