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Published on Saturday, 19 October 2013 Written by Mark Read « Back to news articles

We have enlisted the help of some of Perth's brightest young students to help the team with the design and calculations for our air brakes. The work by Willetton Senior High School students is being overseen by team member and education specialist Brett Boughton.

Brett's enthusiasm is infectious and his Engineering Studies students have taken Pete Taylor's well crafted full scale Aussie Invader air door mock up and are getting their teeth stuck into approximating the loads on the air doors (speed brakes). The task is not as straight forward as it may first appear as they must create a mechanism which can open the door to a 60 degree angle without overloading any components and the mechanism must work in a confined space.

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Once the mechanism or mechanisms have been established, aerodynamic loads on the actuating ram, links, pins and pivot can be calculated for each component, at different speeds and door angles. Too easy you might say, just use the appropriate computer software tool - this would of course be the most simple and easy route, however, Brett has challenged his students to calculate all forces long hand - Pythagorean identities are getting a good work out! Once complete it will be interesting to see how close the long hand answers are to the computer generated loads.

This is just one of the projects the students have assisted in and the enthusiasm and quality of work is extremely high. Aussie Invader 5R as an educational tool has proved to be very successful and we hope it inspires many young budding mathmaticians and engineers.

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