The first attempt at creating a rigid structure for the aircraft was started using craft foam-core, and wooden dowels. The cross section was a hand-cut approximation of the NACA 4418 airfoil. The body itself was modeled after an open-source 3D-printed flying wing structure. This featured both swept and tapered wings.
By creating holes along the chord line of the cross-sections, the dowels were passed through and fixed in place by using a quick-set epoxy. This initial test structure was created to achieve a sense of scale, as well as an idea of the manufacturing procedure. It became clear that this form of assembly - relying on the strength of the dowels - was not a viable, long-term solution.
Therefore it was decided that future iterations would rely on the strength of the cardboard, in order to reduce the required number of ribs and simplify the manufacturing process. In addition, although the swept wings pulled the aerodynamic center further aft of the aircraft, the additional complexity from the sweep and taper is not ideal. Hence future iterations will likely feature rectangular wings to simplify fabrication.
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