Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What An Experience (RACE DAY!)

Wow, the race day was very entertaining, i don't know about you guys but Wheels-On-Air found it to be a wonderful experience, and it has taught us a lot about how important physics is in playing a part in making an air-powered balloon car, and how even the slightest modifications can change how the balloon car performs. First and foremost, congratulations to Ludwig, Kelly and Rachel for exceeding 5 meters and making it all the way to an astounding 16 m. (Ludwig) and 13 m. (Kelly and Rachel), it was very thrilling to watch. Also, congratulations to Cyro because we're pretty sure his car had the highest average speed when crossing the 5 meter mark. Second of all, we would like to thank our teacher Mr. P for being merciful and gracious in reducing the requirement to only 3 meters =].

As for Wheels-On-Air's balloon straw car (now officially named the Straw-Mobile) we found it disastrous. We thought that we had our car under control and that it would not swerve like crazy during race day, but we were wrong. Maybe it was the way we positioned our car, because the balloon was leaning towards a certain side or the bottle cap wheels were a bad choice, but we felt that if we used both toy wheels it would make the car too heavy; we tested it out so we decided to try a mixture of both bottle cap wheels and toy wheels.

Now for more details regarding our trial runs. The first two were a complete mess. We remember distinctly that in the first run the car swerved and went out of control from the get-go, and headed towards the office's outer window in the front voyeur; it did not past the 5 meter mark, let alone the 3 meter mark. The second trial (not too clear or sure) we believe ended up swerving towards the right side in the front voyeur this time, and didn't pass the 3 meter mark either. The third trial was the most successful (although later on after we finished the third trial one of our peers gave us constructive criticism on how we should've blew up our balloon more because it was leaking air). The saying "third time's the charm" definitely applied to us here. Boy, Wheels-On-Air was beyond relieved to see our Straw-Mobile pass the 3 meter mark travelling fairly straight. Although it succeeded in all those things and on top of that had a fairly fast speed, we were disappointed because it failed to reach the 5 meter mark also (we think it was about 3.3-3.5 meters it achieved).

Now, what would we do differently for next time? As far as we're concerned, we would definitely change the wheels on our cars and try something such as styrofoam; which is light but if it would aid our car in travelling in a straight line without turning we have yet to test that out. Aside from the wheels, we will continue sticking with our model because we design our balloon cars to be extra light to go fast; it is not built for distance.

Overall, the race day as we've stated before was an amazing experience and Wheels-On-Air hopes that you all had as much fun as we did.

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