OSU aerospace students evaluate wind effects on proposed Wright Flyer monument

In Monument and Heritage Site, NAHA News Release, Wright Image Group /

For immediate release
Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Curt Nelson, VP Public Information, Wright Image Group, 937-372-7050 or cnelson3@woh.rr.com

Walter Ohlmann, President, Wright Image Group, 937-276-2963 or walter@ohlmanngroup.com

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Editors: Photos available upon request

Dayton, OH – Engineering students at The Ohio State University have completed a “capstone project” to analyze aerodynamic forces that would be faced by the 25-story-tall Wright Flyer monument being developed by the Wright Image Group of Dayton.

Aerospace engineering seniors Lindsey Crump, Chelsea Curtin, Tim Hendrickson, and Mitch Le completed the project with technical guidance by their faculty advisor, Professor Mike Benzakein, and NASA Glenn Research Center engineer Tom Benson, and Chuck Stevens of Stevens Aircraft engineering.  The project is included in their graduation credits.

“This project has been such a great learning opportunity for us,” said Hedrickson, project team leader. “We really hope our efforts will be of valuable use to Wright Image Group for years to come.”

The students started the project at the beginning of the 2012 autumn semester. It built on earlier work done by the University of Dayton and used computer models and the OSU 3×5 foot wind tunnel to estimate the forces generated by wind velocities up to 220 mph on a stainless steel model of the 1905 Wright Flyer whose wings will span 144 feet atop a 250 foot tall pedestal.

The Wright Image Group plans to erect the monument at the Interstate 70-75 interchange to brand the Dayton region and Ohio as the birthplace of aviation and the center of aerospace technology.

The wind tunnel work was completed in February using a Wright Flyer model provided by the Wright Image Group. The student team spent the remainder of the semester analyzing the volumes of data obtained and preparing a final report.

“It’s been a great experience all the way around,” Benzakein said. “Putting together the analysis and experiments for an important, historical project has made for a unique and memorable capstone project.  It motivated our students and gave them a chance to demonstrate their expertise, their entrepreneurship, and their interaction with the outside world.”

“We’re delighted to have this thoroughly professional analysis in hand, providing evidence that our design will stand up to the worst stresses it is likely to incur,” said Steve Brown of Brown and Bills Group, the Wright Image Group project architect.

The Wright Image Group has a technical liaison with NASA Glenn and will use the Ohio State analysis to identify the need for further testing with larger scale models and wind tunnels, possibly at Glenn Research Center.

About the Wright Image Group

The Wright Image Group, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization whose objective is to construct an iconic monument, 25 stories tall, with a facsimile of the 1905 Wright Flyer, the world’s first practical airplane, mounted on top.  The monument will memorialize the Wright Brothers’ achievement and the birth of aviation as well as “brand” the Dayton Region and the entire state of Ohio as a past, present, and future leader in aerospace.  The Group’s goal is to draw new aerospace businesses to the region and boost tourism throughout the state.  For more information, go towww.wrightmonument.org.

Wright Image Group is a partner of the National Aviation Heritage Alliance, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization designated by Congress as the management entity for the National Aviation Heritage Area. Visit aviaitonheritagearea.org for more information.