By Heather Mendiola
faces for the rest of the day.”
The next day when competition started, they had another reason to smirk. There are two days of flying; the first day is three flights, the second day is two. On the first day, the plane flew all three times, and the men were able to relax and enjoy their time there while the other teams scrambled to fix their planes. At the start of the second day Union was in fourth place. However, the plane couldn’t carry the heavier loads and never left the ground. This moved the team to eighth place.
Having never tested the plane before it was shipped, the team relied on computer simulations based on their calculations for designs. They all chose to design this as their senior project, even though the club does not require engineering majors to be members.
Many teams at the competition had 20 or more members with fully developed engineering programs that partner with major companies to construct their parts. The Flying Dutchmen team made their parts in the shop at Union, and the team beat 34 teams.
The team usually has 100 percent turnover for competition go-ers. However, Garabedian had also attended the competition the previous year. This year, the men created a design from scratch. Without the chance to fly it and relying only on scientific calculations and digital simulations, the men decided to account for many unpredictable flaws in their design by using heavier building materials. Other teams were trying to perfect the same design each year.
Professor Bruno thought it was nearly comical that the Dutchmen held the plane like a baby when constructing it, afraid it would break, while they were designing it to withstand hitting the ground at 20-30 mph carrying 10 pounds of extra weight.
Aside from the plane not flying for the last two runs, the place the men lost the most points was their report. While the majority of points were lost due to the different expectations amongst the judges, many losses of points were for grammar, punctuation and spelling errors.
However, when they have to budget their time due to lack of members, the team is going to choose the to fix the mechanical problems so the plane will fly, instead of proofreading their report.
Therefore, Professor Bruno and the entire team plead with those who are or are not engineering majors to come volunteer your much needed talents. English and economics majors, video-gamers … all are welcome and much needed!