Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Project Flight Is Gaining Altitude!

Project Flight has been busy since we started on Monday.

Day 1: 
We started with a morning of “ground school,” where Flight Instructor Ian Hochstetter P'15 covered the basics of flight with our 13 students. The classroom time enabled our students to learn about what controls the plane, what causes a plane to stall, and how different elements of a wing allow lift to be enabled.

From there, we moved into the lower gym to begin flying small RC planes. While half the group competed in a paper airplane competition, the other half controlled a glider in order to feel how the pitch and angle of attack dictated air speed and elevation.

Finally, we ended the day in McEvoy Theater with some competitive simulator flights. We used the projector and the big screen to broadcast one of our iPad apps to practice the takeoff, flying, and landing of a Cessna 172. Some were able to pilot it very well, but we did have one or two crashes!

Gliding in the Lower Gym

Day 2:
On the second day, we travelled down to Boston and started our day by “plane spotting,” or watching planes flight directly overhead just outside of Logan Airport. Initially planes were approaching from a different location, so nothing was coming directly overhead, but we did see a giant C-17 land. At the end of the day, we came back when we learned the planes were landing on the correct runway, and saw about a half dozen fly directly overhead at about 300 feet!

In the early afternoon, we headed to Cambridge to see the aviation laboratory at MIT. We got to see the wind tunnel, including a chance to go inside with a steady wind. We got to see the machinery they use to build their models, hear about current research, and see the wind tunnel in action.

After making a pit stop on the way out of Boston for some more plane spotting, we were back up to NHS before check in to end our busy day in Boston!

Inside MIT's Wind Tunnel

Planespotting outside Logan Airport

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