Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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AEM spotlight:

Students Continue Tradition of Domination at SAE Competition


Sixty-five teams from the Ďeasterní hemisphere of the globe showed up to compete in this yearís SAE Aero Design East competition. Teams came from all over the globe including South America, Mexico, Canada, Poland and India.

The final placing is based on the teamís final score which is a compilation of performance on their design paper, oral design report and the flight score. A team must score highly on all of the events to keep them in the competition.

Once again, our department had two teams enter their senior design projects in the competition; one in regular class and another in the micro class. Following in their predecessorís footsteps the micro-class began a tradition of excellence and took overall first place for the second year in a row. The regular class also placed well and landed at 15th overall.

A few weeks before the Design East competition, the identical Design West competition was held in California. Our teams did not attend that competition, but our micro class planeís flight score would have won that competition as well.

Micro class team members included Tyler Coffey, Steven Eyberg, Sean Gamlin, Adam Rudin, Nicholas Simon, Andrew Swift, David Towey and Brandon Weigert. Regular class team members were David Appel, Scott Balaban, Dennis Bebie, Robert Cacic, Scott Fairbanks, Elliott Guetzlaff, Tyler McCluskey, and Scott Uptown.

The Design

The regular class plane is required to use a specified make and model engine that is unmodified and runs on regular fuel and the combined length, height, and wing span of the

regular class plane must be less than 175 inches. Regular class team members are challenged to build a plane to these specifications and then carry the greatest payload weight possible.

The micro class plane is slightly different. The only design constraint is the micro class plane must fit inside a 20 inch cube and be able to be assembled from the box by two people in less than three minutes, by two people. Clearly, this puts severe size constraints into the design and poses significant design challenges.

Both planes flew very well; the pilot provided by the event commented that both UMN planes had very good handling qualities.



Last Modified: Thursday, 23-Apr-2009 13:39:20 CDT -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation