The Lisa B
CALIFORNIA POLYTECHNIC STATE UNIV SAN LUIS OBISPO
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The rules for the current DesignBuildFly Competition presented a new spin on previous years. The 1998-99 competition had a simple goal for each entry carry as much cargo as possible. This year, with the addition of two empty ferry laps, the rules added an important design consideration make the plane faster. Top designs from last year were pure heavy lifting airframes with large wing surfaces, or hi-planes with extremely large total wing areas. The wing span restriction on the current competition also demonstrated that more payload capacity might not be the key to a higher overall score. For the empty lap where high speed is the objective, high lifting airfoils and multiple wings create too much drag, overall causing more harm than good. The decision for a low wing aircraft came from the loading and unloading process that must take place during the competition. A high wing design would probably have blocked access to the cargo. On RIC aircraft, contrary to popular belief, a low-wing design is not less stable than a high-wing design and in spite of the slightly better stability of a high-wing, the low-wing design worked better for this competition.