Naval Academy mids teach Buzz Lightyear how to fly


Naval Academy photo

A group of Naval Academy mids found that Buzz Lightyear could fly neither to infinity, nor beyond it, despite the cartoon character’s claim.

For their final project, four midshipmen decided to determine the aerodynamic capabilities of the toy superhero star of the 1995 Pixar film “Toy Story,” an academy release said.

Midshipmen 2nd Class Kris Ward, Cameron Little, Zachary Haueter and Robert Dunlap tested Buzz in one of the Naval Academy’s wind tunnels and found that his body was too large compared to his wings to allow him to fly. So they did what anybody would do: built Buzz a new pair of wings.

The mids researched “low-speed, high-lift airfoil shapes,” the release said, and tested the top three shapes in the tunnel. In doing so, they were able to improve his gliding ability by 25 percent.

While it may seem like a joke, the exercise taught skills the mids will use next year while designing and building a prototype unmanned aerial vehicle for their senior capstone.


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