Design+Build for Early Flight

Research & Development – Fall 2014

Jan Chambers begins sketching, based on our collaborative research on medieval Islamic science, technology, costume, art, architecture, material culture, and social history. We use the research and design process to explore technologies and materials available in the ninth-century, and intellectual, cultural, and social contexts for scientific practices and processes during the caliphal era.

Design – Spring 2015

Using Jan’s designs as a point of departure, Kevin Simpson digitally models an imagined flying device and Jesse Hall creates a mock-up of a flying garment. This phase lays the groundwork for aerodynamic analyses.

Build+Test Aerodynamic Analysis – Summer 2015

In this phase we 3D print and assemble a 3/4 scale prototype of our imagined flying device and garment. Led by Laura Miller, we test the aerodynamics of the flight device in the UNC Fluid Dynamics Lab. The aerodynamic analyses further our understanding of the challenges and factors that played a role in early flight experiments.