[JIBR2015 HPA-distance] Tohoku univ. Windnauts won by 35.3km flying!!

The TV program of Japan International Birdman Rally(JIBR) 2015 was broadcasted on 2 Sep.
Yomiuri telecasting corporation, who is organizer of the competition, unveiled results of the competition on their website after broadcasting the program. This article introduces results of the competition in HPA distance category with my brief comments. Please note that this article is a part of unofficial fan’s activity and may be inaccurate.

NOTE: Some team names are defined with only Japanese. So they were forcibly interpreted by author in following.

1st prize
Team: Tohoku university –  Windnauts / 35,367.02 meters (approx. 21.98 miles)
The Windnauts achieved 5th victory by their flying in this competition. Their flight distance is second longest record of the JIBR HPA distance category and it is almost same distance of Gossamer Albatross flight for Kremer channel prize. The team is one of the top three teams of JIBR HPA distance category and achieved the longest flight 36 km of the HPA distance category in 2008’s competition.

2nd prize
Team: Nihon university Aero Student Group (NASG)/ 22,892.36 meters (approx. 14.22 miles)
This team is successor of 50 years history of Japanese first succesful HPA study in Nihon university. The team is one of the top three teams of JIBR HPA distance category and the team held the 2nd longest distance record 34.5 km reaching at south end of flyable area the competition in 2003, which is the longest distance under the rule at the time. The team have won the category 7th times but have not won in the last 9 years.In this 2015 competition, their HPA flew over 20km for the first time in 10 years in JIBR. The team gave the impression of their revival to JIBR funs.

3rd prize: Osaka Institute of Technology – HPA project / 5,368.97 meters (approx. 3.34 miles)
Their HPA have 1 blade propeller and strut-braced wing. Those technology were not main stream but worked very well. Especially the 1 blade propeller generated enough thrust in spite of little precedented propeller for HPA.

4th: Tokyo Institute of Technology – Meister / 3,971.79 meters (approx. 2.47 miles)
The team is one of the top three teams of JIBR HPA distance category. The team held the 3red longest distance record 32.2 km in 2003. Their HPA have cantilever wing. Their HPA of this year have very long span, which is 37 meters, to reduce necessary power.

5th: Shibaura Institute of Technology – Team Birdman Trial / 1,121.54 meters
They have tried to fly with twin-engined HPA. In other words, 2 pilots ride on their HPA. Their best result is 3044 meters on the 32th JIBR in 2008 and the flight led them to the 2nd prize at the time. In this competition, their HPA took off smoothly. But their HPA was suddenly blown by tailwind and was deprived their altitude.

6th: Nagoya Institute of Technology with OB sters  / 755.78 meters
This competition is the actual first challenge for the team because their first competition was no contest by very bad wind. Their HPA have cantilever wing and co-axial mid propeller with upright style cockpit. Their flight was look smooth but their thrust might be not enough.

7th: Ehime university – Ninomiya-Sho-kai / 714.84 meters
Their concept is that crow-style model aircraft made by Chuhachi Ninomiya, who is pioneer of Japanese aviation from Ehime, in Meiji era about 120 years ago. The Ehime university students team’s HPA has low wing configuration and V-tail like the model aircraft. The HPA also is painted as black like crow.

8th: Osaka university – albatross / 532.02 meters
They have tried tailless glider and HPA for 10 years. The pitch control system of their HPA is weight-shift type like hang glider. It is regarded that the system may prevent pitching oscillation induced by pedaling using pilot arms as dumper. The team holds distance record of tailless HPA in JIBR. Their target of this year is 1,000 meters and it is new records of tailless HPA. But they did not achieve it.

9th: Ritsumeikan Aircraft Project Team (RAPT) / 250.93 meters
“The team was weaker team but became weak from weaker” – This team was given a humiliating comment by an emcee comedian in their previous challenge. So they aimed to revenge themselves on the comedian. The comedian promised the team to prostrate himself if the team’s HPA flew more than 1,000 meters. Their HPA took off from platform and smoothly flew. However their HPA was blown by strong wind and was forced to turn to revetment. Finally their pilot gave up to continue his flight and forced their HPA to splash in the lake to avoid crash on the revetment.

10th: The University of Electro-Communications – U.E.C.wings / 112.81 meters
This competition is their first competition in 9 years and their first challenge to HPA distance category. Their HPA have unique navigation system. The system automatically informs telemetry by voice of their mascot characters “Lagopus-tan sisters” which are personifying rock ptarmigan, which is one of blessed bird. This system sounds funny but it was necessary for the team to win screening of this competition. Their HPA flew only 113 meters but did not break its structure in the flight. It is giant leap for the team.

Yamagata University – Craft-Pal/ DSQ
This team is pioneer of tailless HPA and have tried it for longer time than Osaka univ. “albatross”. But unfortunatly this team was not able to  in the competition for dissatisfaction of official machine safety check.

Next generation aircraft study team / DNS
This team is non-students club team which is rare challenger in the HPA distance category. In fact, this team was going to be the only non-students team in this competition. However this team gave up participating in the competition because of crash in flight test.


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poor English better than Japanese – thank you


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