Ian Lambert and Jason Reskin went on a test flight today which was the first to test the velocity computer. Needless to say there are some bugs to work out, but a major hardware problem was corrected in the process. Work continues on the motion control system. The valves have all been replaced to support a better exhaust gas handling system. Bryan Ball, the other Comp. Sci. major was over on Monday from 10:40a to 5:00p working on the assembly program for the Motorola. He should be back tomorrow to finish the program and start running tests. Words can not describe the awesome power required to move something this size and weight around like a rag doll, and I hope we all take it slow to make sure there are no accidents to us or the equipment. Bryan Ball’s short biography will be added to “Meet the Crew” as soon as his pictures come back. Ian Lambert informed us that his video camera should be fixed soon and we will conduct a documentary of the new crew rest area and the changes that have been done to the cockpit. Many stills will be updated on this site and we may make the tape available for the public if you pay for shipping. It was also discussed to put it in a AVI or MOV format. If there is someone interested in these or has other ideas, please let one of us know. Talk to you all next year!
Work has begun on allowing the computers to control physical movement of the ship to simulate varous effects of turbulance, translational accelleration, and the normal flight orientations of pitch, roll, and yaw. This is being done with a system of pneumatic pistons that are controlled by a Motorola M68HC11 processor. It is a slow process and we are behind schedule from where we would like to have been at this point. Mr. Reskin is on a break for Christmas from his studies in college, so much of the catchup will be done by him. There was one test flight conducted on the 13th which included Mr. Tripp’s father Richard on his introductory flight. Since that test flight, another microprocessor was added to handle all the velocity information and velocity dependent sound effects. Work will continue through the holidays and we hope to get a few test flights in. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!