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JPL Annual 2003 Invention Challenge Results Gallery
Entry 44
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a) What your team thought of the challenge (objective)?
At first the team thought "How are we going to build this kind of airplane!?" But in the end the team liked the challenge and we ended up with a very good airplane and the team wants to enter next year.

b) What ideas your team considered?
We thought of making our own wings and body and we ended up building a very heavy glider. Then we needed to go lighter, and 9 more prototypes later we had our lightest and accurate airplane.

c) What was your final design?
The final design was an airplane with a very light-weight body and balsa elevator and rudder. We also had wings made of Styrofoam.

d) What was your testing process and how did you improve?
Our first prototype only went 3 feet from the launcher and crashed, and we thought by reducing the weight we can go further. Also the airplane's body and wings got smaller and smaller. The designs went from a wingspan of 130 cm to 87 cm and from a body length of 80 cm to 56 cm. From the size difference and weight it dramatically changed.

e) What your team learned at the regional contest (if applicable)?
We learned that the wings needed to be fixed and that the crack in the wing had to change and be made stronger. Also, the elevator needed to be shrunk.

f) What were your feelings or experiences at the JPL contest?
The team and I felt great and were happy to see other designs from other schools. We got to see other people's ideas and compare them to our ideas.

g) How would your team improve your design?
We wouldn't, the only problem is to steer the airplane and we have to measure how much to turn the rudder and find any other problems in that idea.
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Jet Propulsion Laboratory National Aeronautics and Space Administration California Institute of Technology