Yota's Reflection

Yota Fukui

Reflect on at least three takeaways that you learned from creating your project.

  • Learned how to use Rhino
    • Rhino being an unfamiliar software, I struggled to make plane parts. But through learning my mistake, I was able to get comfortable with the basics of Rhino.  
  • Learned how to use the laser cutter
    • Although not certified, I learned how to laser cut with the help of teachers and Peter. 
  • I learned the importance of taking from another perspective.
    • I learned this lesson through my coaches and my partner. With feedbacks, I think we were able to incorporate new unique ideas people proposed. 

Explain what was difficult for you during this process and why.

Like I said in the last section, using Rhino was the hardest for me. With our material mainly coming from wood, it was up to me to effectively create the plane parts. With "complicated" tools, I always needed help on how to use the tool. With limited time in every class, I was slowing our pace. Now, I think I mastered the basic tools of Rhino.

Talk about feedback that you received and how you were able to incorporate that into your process.

Andrew and I mainly focused on John's feedback. The second time we met John, we proposed our prototype idea. Our prototype at the time represented fluttering by having the wing flap, just like a bird. After hearing our presentation, he corrected us and further explained how fluttering was caused. He even drew a picture to help us understand. After our second meet, we decided to change our representation of the fluttering completely. We came with a fantastic idea where we represented air pressure through our hands, thus giving a better interacting tactile experience. In conclusion, with John's feedback, we were able to represent fluttering more accurately. More information on our project page

Historical Context - Andrew Ohn

Andrew Ohn

John's memory - The memory took place while John worked in Republic Aviation

John worked in Republic Aviation in the post-ww2 era. He was born in New York City where he was marveled by planes. When WW2 broke out, he served as an engineer who got special training on radars. After serving extended time in an airbase in Panama, John received a Fulbright scholarship to M.I.T. There he studied aeronautical engineering and with that knowledge he worked in various aircraft manufacturing companies, including Republic Aviation.

The P-35 fighter plane was created in limited amounts right before WW2. Between 1938-1939 the U.S Army Air Corps ordered 76 of these planes. A lot of other countries including Japan ordered these planes. They were equipped with .50cal, .30cal guns and 320 lbs of bombs. In Republic Aviation, John helped fix and maintain these planes. Because P-35s were obsolete when John worked on them, they had many problems. One major problem was fluttering. If the plane went fast the wings would sometimes twist. 

These older planes were maintained in the post-ww2 era because the U.S had to be ready for any conflict, especially with the rising tension between the Soviet Union.