An innovative radio-controlled airplane designed and built by University of Missouri-Rolla students placed 16th out of 39 entries in an international competition May 2-4 in Dayton, Ohio.
The Society of Automotive Engineers’ Aero Design East Competition is one of two annual international competitions sponsored by SAE. The UMR students’ entry, called "Dragonfly," was unusual because of its dragonfly-like design.
The team designed its plane for the standard class of radio-controlled planes as part of the aerospace engineering program’s senior design course.
"The innovative tandem-wing aircraft, unique among the entries in the competition, represented a considerable design risk," says Dr. Walt Eversman, Curators’ Professor of aerospace engineering and instructor of the design course. "It flew successfully, carrying in excess of the qualifying weight, and provided useful insights into the handling qualities of the unusual configuration."
The competition required student teams to design and build radio-controlled aircraft that can take off and land while carrying a maximum weight of cargo. The planes must comply with stringent design specifications. The competition gives students the chance to apply classroom knowledge to a practical, hands-on problem.