Progress Log

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<< WEEK 2

2004-07-05, Monday
Erica McCay

Technically a holiday, no work session was scheduled for this day. Yet, students who were in town arrived at 1 pm to meet Hall Train. Four students and the advisors gathered around Hall as he talked about various things such as his love of prehistoric life and his involvement with other projects. It was a short day and the students departed about 3 pm, but it was a good experience for all who were there.

2004-07-06, Tuesday
Nicki Lui
Marianne Kvitko

Today the team members arrived earlier than usual to prepare for a meeting with the main design team. After some introductions, a few team members presented to the engineers what had been covered and done over the past couple weeks. We showed what we had learned and concluded with the fruits of our experimentation, which earned smiles all around. Then the team members were able to listen to some of the talks given by the engineers. These talks were quite interesting and informative, though some of the material was rather puzzling. The team was then able to speak with some of the engineers during the lunch period before returning to its work area. There, the team members broke into groups to reflect on the morning meeting and come up with questions to ask some of the experts, who will be available later. Some of these questions included ambiguities about the pterosaur’s structure, appearance, and behavior. After these questions were compiled and sorted, the team broke into two groups to begin designing a six-foot glider model of the pterosaur. This activity will be continued tomorrow.

2004-07-07, Wednesday
Luis Torres
PJ Thompson

Wednesday started out with a few morning visitors to hold a Q+A session with the students. Some of those visitors included paleontologists Chris Bennett and Jim Cunningham, aeronautical engineers John McMasters and Ilan Kroo, animators/paleo-artists John Conway and Hall Train, as well as a few Ph.D. students.
The session started out with a miniature debate between Jim Cunningham and Chris Bennett on the lower attachment of the wing as well as the chord length (i.e. "broad wing" membrane vs. "narrow wing" membrane). Then, Chris Bennett proceeded to discuss actinofibrils. He presented his theory that if the actinofibrils were on the outer area of the cwing, it was because they were made of keratin (what fingernails are made of). This would prevent the decrease of surface area of the wing when stretching due to tension. All the engineers finally ended the session by discussing if whether the pterosaur slapped water to take off, or simply ran.
After lunch, membrane design specialist Peter Heppel arrived to make a demonstration of the proper way to make joints with a material called rip-stop polyester and then asked the team to split up into groups and experiment on our own. He then proceeded to use the same material, rip-stop polyester, as a membrane to design a wing of a pterosaur; he used double-sided tape to produce a wing with membrane and camber, and it generated lift easily.

2004-07-08, Thursday
Daniela Buchman
Jeff O'Donohue

This past Thursday was a lot of fun. We all came in at 10 am, as always, and had a quick meeting. Then we all wrote a list of which design teams we would want to be on. There were three design teams to choose from. One design team was the stable glider team. They make sure that the glider has a stable design. Another team was the membrane team. They have to design and build the membrane for the wing. The final team was the engineering support team, which supports the other two teams and makes sure that all the engineering challenges were solved and the design is integrated. After we were all divided into teams we met with our team and decided on our plan of action. We made a list of what we knew about our subject, what we needed to know, what problems we thought we would face, and any other miscellaneous items we thought we would need. Then we all had a meeting in the conference room and presented the information about our team to the other teams. Everybody was questioned by the other team members, Axel, Arthur, Pey-Jiun, and Bryan. After taking their suggestions to heart we stopped for lunch. Then we started designing for our own parts. The membrane group talked to Peter Heppel, our resident membrane expert, and he taught them all about the theory behind making membranes and how to make the most effective membrane for the pterosaur. The stable glider group started designing and building their glider. The engineering group had a discussion about various problems that they would face and how to solve them. At the end of the day we all met again in the conference room and discussed the timeline for the project.

2004-07-09, Friday
Cameron Tacklind

We started the day just like any other, with everyone ready to work at 10:00 and others already working. One of the stable glider teams completed building their glider but it still wasn’t ready to fly because it hadn’t been trimmed yet. The Membrane team completed their first wing made out of a membrane with an airfoil shape. Meanwhile, the mechanical support started building wing attachment mechanisms and landing gear to protect the gliders from getting destroyed due to crashing.

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