About 30 years ago a Primary (Elementary) School Teacher encouraged a 10 year old boy, named Robin, to do a special science project based on flight. I can’t remember the detail but do remember building & flying various paper aircraft designs, measuring and analysing the results. For some reason it stuck in my mind that the best performing “aircraft” was “The Barnaby Flyer” designed by US aviation pioneer, Capt. Ralph S. Barnaby, USN (Ret).
Recently while writing a blog post about a new device for Pilots, electronic flight documentation based on “digital paper” display technology, I remembered that school project & referred to the Barnaby;
“Seems like the only paper in flight will be aircraft like the Barnaby Flyer...”
Digital Paper takes flight – RobiNZ CAD Blog
I work with, & own, Autodesk software and they have an annual 4-day user conference: Autodesk University (AU). As many readers know, AU is a great mix of learning, networking & fun as 5,000+ CAD Geeks attend hundreds of tutorials, lab sessions, lectures + share a drink or two with Autodesk Staff, CAD Educators, CAD Press &, most important, thousands of fellow users. I attended in 2004, combining a holiday with some company support, and went back in 2005 at my own expense as found it really valuable and well worth the long trek from New Zealand. However, this year it was beyond my means so looked like I was going to miss out except for one last possibility…
Along with thousands of others I participate in the Autodesk “MyFeedback” preview program, which involves testing pre-release software & commenting on future application development/features. It’s rewarding as you are part of a community comprised of “Autodesk’ers” & other beta testers, some I’ve met at AU, giving some input into the future of the tools you use everyday. As part of MyFeedback AutoCAD Product Marketing offer a few scholarships to AU:
We are always very thankful for the active participation and feedback both good and bad from our customers in the AutoCAD Futures and AutoCAD Betas. This year AutoCAD Product Marketing is offering up to 3 full scholarships to Autodesk University. The 5th Annual AU Scholarship includes AU tuition and boarding in Las Vegas as well as a round trip flight to Las Vegas! * International entries are welcomed. To enter please send us the reasons you want and deserve to go to AU. Be creative with your submissions. The winner of the scholarship will be selected based on perceived need, participation in AutoCAD MyFeedback projects, and creativity of his/her entry.
Since there was no other way of getting there I decided to submit an entry. After playing with some boring, serious business case style, submissions I decided to take a chance with a light-hearted approach to the problem of a Kiwi not being able to fly to AU.
The Barnaby aircraft discovered during that school project was still in my mind and became a vital component of the submission. I created a model with AutoCAD/Architectural Desktop; drawing the pattern, using Presspull to add “paper thickness” to the pattern sections, folding it up as you would with paper!
With the AutoCAD tools I created live elevations, sections, conceptual views and output as a rendering & 2D/3D DWF. I then put together a 2-minute video explaining my problem & need for assistance (View the web edit version below).
The result, I’m happy to say, was an invitation to Autodesk University in Las Vegas, late November. It also was neat that, all these years later, I was able to contact that teacher, now a Senior University Lecturer specialising in the use of ICT in Education, and thank him for letting this kid play with paper airplanes!
- As with previous years, I will be blogging from the event as much as time & net access allows. Keep an eye on the Autodesk University Index on this blog.
- Download the DWF File seen in the Video: File Attachment: RobiNZ Autodesk University 2006.dwf (418 KB)
The submission was made with:
- Model, Drawing and Visualisation – AutoCAD/Architectural Desktop 2007
- Render photo backgrounds & test flight video – Robin with a Canon IXUS
- Mapping & Map Animation – Garmin MapSource & CorelRAVE
- Presentation – Microsoft PowerPoint
- Presentation Video Capture, Edit & Production – Camtasia Studio
- Model – A4 Photocopy Paper
- Aircraft Design – Ralph S. Barnaby - 1883-1986
- The design is called the 'Barnaby Flyer'. It was invented by Capt. Ralph S. Barnaby, USN (Ret), and it first appeared in his book "How to Make & Fly Paper Airplanes" (Scholastic Book Services 1968).