We've released a new analysis tool and corresponding Research document called "Optimization" in the Gliders 2.0 application. If you display the optimization tool in the Engineering section (under Analysis) you will see a series of "sliders". Each of these sliders represents the critical flight measures that the students learn about in the research content. If the students use this tool, they will know where to focus their attention in the research materials to improve their design. For example, there is a measure called "Pitch (Center of Gravity)". If you see that this is unstable or less than optimum, you should go to the research document for Pitch and look for material related to the Center of Gravity. In the document you will find both in the text and the Engineer's Tip that the center of gravity should be below the wing and that the optimum position is 1/3 to 1/2 of the wing chord. So:
- If the CG is not below the wing, the optimization tool will report the measure as "unstable".
- If the CG is between 1/3 and 1/2 of the wing chord, the optimization tool will report this measure as fully optimized.
- If the CG is below the wing but not in the optimum range, the optimization tool will report this measure as stable but not fully optimized.
All of the other measures work similarly. So if students use the tool and focus their attention on the research materials accordingly you should see significantly higher flight times.