Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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AEM spotlight:

2010 SAE Design East

AEM senior, Jeff Jueth, preparing the plane on the runway for its flight.

Once again, Jeff Hammer (AEM Industrial Professor) led a group of AEM seniors to participate in the SAE Design East Competition held in Fort Worth, Texas at the end of April.

AEM students registered in the senior design course participate in the annual contest that combines the whole of their undergraduate education. Students design and build an aircraft that meets design goals and specifications, namely to carry a payload substantial when compared to aircraft weight. 

"Classes can only do so much to prepare you for what is to come, but projects like this give you hands on experience that allows you to see computer designs all the way through to fruition," said Jeff Lueth, AEM Senior and team member. "The educational benefits that come from this are innumerable."

Jeff Hammer stated how proud he is of the students. "The airplane design was excellent, the
fabrication was high quality and our design reports scored well. We passed tech inspection quickly with no faults noted." While they were able to win two portions of the three part competition, they could not get a successful flight this year. The problem was the transmitter/receiver and the planes flew out of radio range, went out of control and crashed.

Having entered in the Micro Class competition, the rules require that the plane must fit in a very small box, with its transmitter (control box).  The team chose a very small, inexpensive transmitter that left more room for the plane inside the box knowing that the transmitter had reduced range but took the risk to get a better plane.  A range-check on the ground seemed satisfactory; however, in flight the range was shorter for reasons we do not understand. Other teams had a larger, more robust standard transmitter but a smaller plane. 

Hammer commented, "The pilot said it handled very well and he was sure he could have landed the plane had there been enough transmitter range, and I believe that.  If we had landed it, the flight score would have put us in third or fourth place against very stiff competition."

Congratulations to Jeff Hammer and Team.


Last Modified: Tuesday, 11-May-2010 14:28:38 CDT -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation