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Drag Queen. 16.00 LTA Completed Design Review. Nestor Lara, 2004. Drag Queen. Nestor Lara Chicago, Illinois Alice Fan Orlando, Florida Benjamin Feinberg Lawrenceville, New Jersey Matt Williams Battle Creek, Michigan Hyon Lee Windsor, Canada. Nikhil (friend of group), 2004. I II

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drag queen

Drag Queen


LTA Completed Design Review

Nestor Lara, 2004

drag queen2

Drag Queen

Nestor Lara

Chicago, Illinois

Alice Fan

Orlando, Florida

Benjamin Feinberg

Lawrenceville, New Jersey

Matt Williams

Battle Creek, Michigan

Hyon Lee

Windsor, Canada

Nikhil (friend of group), 2004

table of contents









Table of Contents



Selection of Final Design

Schematics of Final Design

Control Systems

Aerodynamic Analysis

Weekly Timeline




To discuss the procedure and final selection of Drag Queen structure

To provide analysis regarding the components and method of functioning of the final design

To accurately analyze the aerodynamics of the final design

To present a final design that will work based upon correct calculations

Ben Feinberg, 2004

final design intro

PDR DesignCDR Design

3 balloons assembled in row 3 balloons assembled on triangular frame

3 motors: 2 large, 1 small 3 motors: 2 large, 1 small

Long, thin Compact, tight

Advantages: Advantages:

  • Somewhat stable Stronger structure
  • Lift can be adjusted Less wobbly in turns
  • Simpler Structure Less chance for ‘rollover’
  • Aerodynamic Symmetrical sides are possibility
  • Less risk in turns, greater mobility
  • Disadvantages:
          • Disadvantages:
  • Unstable in turns
  • “Rollover” capabilities Larger Drag (but low speeds)
  • Unoriginal

Final Design – Intro

final design features


  • Triangular symmetry desired, but too complicated
  • Established ‘front’ and ‘back’ to triangular LTA


  • 2 triangles (.9m sides) were assembled atop one another
  • Between triangles is balsa wood to create durable and strong structure


  • Triangular structure allows all electric motors to be relatively close to one another
  • 1 small motor (altitude) in front , 2 large motors (thrust, steering) in each back corner
  • Wires originate and join battery pack on platform in middle of LTA


  • Altitude: Power comes from small motor in front
  • Thrust: both large motors powered at same speed
  • Steering: with one motor / propeller fixed and one free to rotate, greater torque can be created in desired direction when turning

Final Design Features

control systems

Controls 1 and 2

The speed of each motor’s propeller is independent of one another

Thus, differential steering is possible

Control 3

Motor 2 is on a swivel: when pointed straight ahead its range is 90 degrees to the left or 90 degrees to the right

To add to the idea of differential steering, this will provide greater torque in direction of steering

Control 4


Used to provide lift and keep LTA stable in case of uneven air conditions

Control Systems

4 Controls

1. Speed of Motor 1 (rear left)

2. Speed of Motor 2 (rear right)

3. Rotation of Motor 2

4. Altitude

control systems9

Control Systems


Our LTA is capable of differential steering and thrusting and also makes use of a rotating motor.

With only 4 controls on the transmitter, we are effectively and efficiently using all controls to create a working LTA.

aerodynamic analysis

Aerodynamic Analysis

Note: Some values taken from Interactive Aerospace Engineering and Design: D. Newman

aerodynamic analysis12

Helium Volume Required:

Aerodynamic Analysis

Lift From Volume


Thrust based on 9V battery

aerodynamic analysis13

Vehicle Velocity:

Aerodynamic Analysis

Vehicle Drag:

With Non-Perfect Flight, we estimated the endurance of 1 round trip would be:

Endurance:(Based on battery life and change of volume of balloons during flight)

drag queen timeline

Drag Queen Timeline

Alice Fan, 2004



By analyzing various designs and assessing the strength and weaknesses of each, we were able to select a design that provides optimal reliability and efficiency.  The incorporation of two large motors allows for better maneuverability and maximum thrust, while the small motor underneath the vehicle allows for stability and lift control.  The lightweight design contributes to the improved aerodynamics of the vehicle and provides greater support to the frame of the dirigible.  Thus, these features of our team's LTA make it highly competitive and give us the leading edge.