Monday, January 02, 2006

Competition No. Two

The second competition included an unsuspected twist -- looks! Building materials were limited to (1) balsa wood, (2) motor/prop/battery, and (3) the landing gear. To make this build more challenging Pilots DS and JS agreed that (a) :03 seconds would be awarded to the best/functional landing and (b) :05 seconds would be awarded to the best looking plane. These additional seconds would be added to the flight time for the winning pilot.

Pilot JS made a scaled version of the famous Piper Cub J-3. With this plane its "looks" prevailed over its performance. Because of the over-curved wing the plane was very unstable during flight and looked as if it was drunk -- swaying from side to side as it attempted to fly.

The pressure was on for Pilot DS to win this competition because if he lost again Pilot JS would win two of the three competitions and the battle would be over. Each pilot is given three timed flights and the longest flight counts. Both pilots use fresh batteries and a timer when charging their planes. Pilot DS was much more creative in his design, placing particular attention to his dihedral wing. His plane maintained :05 second flight making a gentle left turn, while Pilots JS's plane only sustained :02 seconds of flight.

But because Pilot JS's plane landed itself and did not snap into peices on impact as Pilot DS's plane did the Cub was awarded :03 seconds. Furthermore, the Piper Cub won "Best Looking" and was awarded :05 additional seconds, making Pilot JS the victor once again. Though Pilot JS did not feel good taking Pilot DS's plane or the win this time.


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