Kenji's Blog

Blog for Dr Kenji Takeda at the University of Southampton. Find out about what he's up to in aerodynamics, aircraft noise, flight simulation and Formula One teaching, research and schools outreach. Also see what's going on in the School of Engineering Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

How to build a birdman....

You can see our birdman attempt with The Gadget Show here if you missed it. Certainly was a lot of fun! Our aircraft design was deliberately conventional as we only had a month to design, test, build and fly two aircraft. We did test a model in the RJ Mitchell wind tunnel, as used by Sir Chris Hoy and the British Cycling Team in their preparations for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. We also did some computational fluid dynamics analysis, hat proved to us that winglets were well worth including. Building the aircraft in our student workshops, luckily devoid of student projects over the summer break, took up a lot of space. The wingspan was over 9m!! Overall it was an amazing experience. Particular thanks go to Jason Bradbury for having the kohanas to fly our creation. he did a great job, and there will always be room in the cockpit for him in our future Birdman attempts! This isn't the only thing we get up to. A really cool project was also our amphibious cycle, which you can see on YouTube. We also get up to more serious research, working with companies such as Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Formula 1 teams, Microsoft, RNLI, Lloyds Register and others. Oh, and if you've not been to uni yet, why not consider coming to Southampton to learn how to design Birdman aircraft and more!!!

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