Release that Witch Chapter 978
To give the glider speed, Roland requested the Ministry of Construction to build a runway along the cliff towards the sea. It was designed with both ends curved upward like a crescent.
Once the glider was lifted and fixed in position, it could be released by unleashing the fixer. Due to gravity, it would glide forward and speed up until it darted out of the runway. The flyer would have a similar experience to sitting on a roller coaster in the modern world, though it would be far less thrilling.
Of course, these alone were insufficient as the wings needed more power to ascend. Thus, Wendy had to provide some wind to lift the wings.
Once the glider darted out of the cliff that was 15 meters above the water surface, it would have plenty of buffer space. Whether the glider ascended or descended, its slow speed provided both the flyer and rescuer time to prepare.
This was the reason why Roland designed the prototype to have two seats in the first place.
Now that both Lightning and Maggie were fighting on the Barbarian Land. The rescue job was naturally handed over to Tilly.
She took the job joyfully.
"It's time to board the plane," Roland said to both girls as he thought it was time to take off.
Wendy nodded. She clenched her fists to encourage herself and then walked up to the glider with Tilly.
It was not until she was on board that she found the aircraft to be much larger than she had expected.
Particularly the two pairs of straight wings that separately lay above her head and below her feet. They were larger than any birds' and were even longer than the transfigured Maggie's wings.
As Wendy saw the slim tip of the wings vibrating in the sea wind, concern rose inside her. It felt like the wings would easily snap from strong winds once the glider took off.
Roland had mentioned that the vibration of the wings was normal. The wings were assembled from a frame with a skin wrapping around it. The frame was made of hard aluminum. This was to ensure that it could endure the impact of air currents when the glider flew slowly through the air. The skin was created by Soraya. It was more resistant than ordinary leather and cloth. As a result, the wings looked quite slim and frail. Compared to the area of the wings, their thickness could almost be ignored. It was as if they were pieces of paper.
"My Lady, let me know if you're ready." A soldier's voice awoke Wendy.
"I see. Well... the first step is..."
"Confirm that every control surface is okay." Tilly on the back seat tried to calm her down. "Don't be nervous. I'll protect you even if something goes wrong."
"Thank you." Wendy felt relieved when she heard that. Exactly, she was not the only one who took His Majesty's class on the principles of flight. If someone could remind her of the steps she had forgotten, she would make fewer mistakes.
"First, pull the main lever to control the tail elevator."
Taking a deep breath, Wendy put both hands on an iron lever before her seat and pulled it. As she did that, a click was heard under her seat. She knew that the sound was produced when the wire connected to the other end of the lever pulled tail. She had done this step hundreds of times on the simulator before the prototype was ready.
"The elevator is okay. The next step is... um, the rudder," Tilly continued.
But the components in the simulator were much simpler. It only contained two vertical levers, two pedals, and a few wire ropes. At first, it was hard for Wendy to believe that only these few things could allow the glider fly like a bird. After all, it was almost as simple as controlling as a bicycle.
The elevation control lever could only be moved forward and back while the direction control lever could only be moved left and right because the holder had limited their movement space. On the other hand, a bicycle's head could make circles.
"The rudder is okay too. Last is the aileron."
According to His Majesty, an aircraft generally had three pairs of wings. One in the front and two in the back, giving the impression of the shape of "?" when viewed from the front. The rudder, which was the erected part, worked like the one of a boat. It could change the direction of the aircraft's nose in the wind.
The short horizontal bar was the elevator, which was also called the "tail". It rose and dropped with the aircraft's nose, looking very similar to a rudder flipped on its side. With the knowledge from the chapter "Decomposition and Synthesis of Forces" in Primary Physics, Wendy could easily understand the principle of this component.
The longer horizontal bar represented the aileron. Wendy did not understand why it was called the "aileron" until she saw the real thing. It was inlaid at the back of the large wing and was no more than one-tenth the size of the wing. Two ailerons were connected with iron wire to the two pedals near her two feet, one left and one right.
Unlike the former two components, the two ailerons must be in inverse (one up and one down) to work. However, if disproportionate forces impact on the two ailerons, the aircraft would deflect from its course or possibly even roll over. Hence, they were the most important part Wendy needed to handle in flight.
Wendy had once asked His Majesty why he had designed the ailerons when the rudder could also change the flight direction. He explained that every movement of the aircraft required the cooperation of the three control surfaces in combination. If the flyer only moved the rudder, the body of the aircraft would tend to move horizontally. Thus, when making a tight turn, the flyer must pull the elevator down to keep it stable.
Thus, he needed a detailed testing result to write a Flight Manual that could really guide people. He needed to find the answer to questions like: In different circumstances, how is the orbit maneuver controlled? How does the wind direction impact the aircraft? What is the deficiency of the aircraft when controlling it? and so forth. Only by clearly learning this information could he make a truly reliable aircraft.
"The ailerons seem okay too." Tilly patted Wendy's shoulder. "I'll leave the rest to you."
Wendy felt her heart beat faster. She glanced at Roland in the distance before turning to the soldier. "I'm ready, loosen the fixer."
"Yes, please watch out!" The soldiers moved immediately.
"The runway is clear and lights are all green," Wendy whispered in her heart. Although she did not exactly understand what those words meant, she would still say it, since His Majesty said it could bring luck.
With a gentle shake, the glider was pushed onto the runway.
Then it descended.
The wheel creaked as it rolled on the runway, and the aircraft started to shake. Wendy felt as if the sea at the other end was approaching her as she raced down the runway towards it.
For a moment, her heart was in her mouth.
"What did she need to do next?"
Wendy panicked when she saw that the glider had passed half of the runway yet showed no signs of flying.
"The wind!" Tilly shouted.
Yes, the wind. The speed generated on the runway was not fast enough to make the glider take off whilst carrying both of them. She needed to create a stable and mild wind to lift its wings.
Just as the idea emerged in her head, she took action. The magic spiral worked and formed an invisible air current which lightly supported the wings.
With that, the harsh creaking noise subsided. It was as if the glider no longer had any weight. Before Wendy could figure out how it happened, the glider had rushed off the cliff.
For a short period of time, the glider ascended, giving her a sense of overweight. It felt like someone pressing her down into her seat.
As her body was drawn back, she could not help but pull the main lever down.
The aircraft's nose responded to her command and rose even higher.
Her view changed. She could no longer see the earth full of the leaves and withered grass. Even the vast whirlpool-like sea was almost out of her sight. Instead, the clear blue sky filled her view whilst the shimmering light forced her to narrow her eyes.
For a moment, Wendy felt like a petrel soaring up into the sky against the light.
It felt so unconstrained. She finally understood why His Majesty said that the aircraft was totally different from a hot air balloon.
But just a few seconds later, Wendy found that the sound of the wind had subsided.
The glider's nose was still high, but its speed no longer allowed it to ascend. Time seemed stopped. Wendy wanted to strengthen the wind under main wings, but this ended up turning the entire aircraft upside down.
"Too much wind!" Tilly shouted.
Before Wendy had time to find the problem, the glider had fallen like a stone.