October 03, 2010

Helicopter Experiment

Writing about web page /cbates/entry/stats_task_1/

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Just as an add-on to this, Sam plotted the data on Autograph (?). I noticed that the plot had a 'hockey stick' profile - Liz's long and skinny helicopter performed best, with performance reducing as the 'rotors' became shorter and wider - but the helicopter with the shortest and widest seemed to break this trend. I asked Sam to fit a curve and went away to think about it.

And my thoughts went thusly: if we'd had enough time to make more helicopters, with rotors the full possible range of width and thickness given the restrictions we placed on ourselves, the data should be bi-modal. Because as the rotors are made shorter and wider, they would be getting longer and thinner - just at 90deg. Like this:Helicopter

Pheer my l33t MSPaint skillz.

I don't think the two maxima would be equal - the first and third examples above are rather different, and this may affect their relative aerodynamics. But there really should be two, and I think this is hinted at in our limited data. See? SEE???

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  • Hi. My sisters first word was helicopter. by Sue on this entry

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