Monday, January 02, 2006

Competition No. Four -- Snow Skis

Fact is balsa wood warps when it is wet, but the pilots' desire to be challenged remained strong. They decided to buy brand new Harbor Freight planes and mount snow skis to them. The skis had to be functional. The goal for the pilots was to build a plane that would both fly well and land itself.

The results were totally unexpected. Pilot DS completely redeemed himself! This competition took place on two different days, requiring some modification on both planes.

Pilot DS built snow skis from balsa wood -- cutting against the grain for added strength and adding a curled nose to the ski as well. He sealed the skis with packing tape. The result was near perfect. The test flight resulted in a perfect landing. On a 3 minute charge the plane succeeded with a rolling takeoff and landing. Pilot DS was defined as "genius" with that flight. His plane achieved an altitude of 40' plus. Videos of his plane's successful flights are posted -- click the link in the navigation that bar that says "Watch Blog Videos Here."

Pilot JS performed poorly in this competition. Though his plane flew, it could not land itself. The skis were too stiff and broke every time sending his plane into somersaults across the snow. Pilot DS was keen to this and knew sucess was based on both wide and flexible snow skis.

The victor, Pilot DS and his winning plane:


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