Over the past term, our Year 11 Design and Technology students have been designing and constructing planes primarily from balsa wood, in order to create circular flight around the Power Anchor system.
The Power Anchor system supplies power to the motor via some wires and provides the thrust for the planes to fly, when the students achieve the correct ratios of wingspan, balance and wing angles. There are a number of variables to be considered, and all students were supplied with a specific, fixed quantity of construction materials.
The students have faced many design challenges throughout the project and made a number of design changes in response to the test flights made. Not only were they able to observe and record their own flights but each student had the opportunity to observe and learn from every flight carried out in the Wood Technology room.
All students achieved flight with their designs, overcoming specific difficulties and responding to immediate and specific feedback. This exercise has provided a strong foundation in which to build on, in relation to the design process and specific documentation skills.
Flight was not the only criteria for success. The aesthetics of the plane were also considered, and individual styles and decorations were applied.
We are all looking forward to the next design challenge where students will be designing and manufacturing a Light Emitting Diode (LED) light for a specific use, utilising 12 volt strip lighting.
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