This weekend a team of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology will use an 8-pound aircraft to drop a sandbag on a target from 100 feet in the air as part of the Society of Automotive Engineers’ annual Aero Design East Competition.
The SAE Aero Design East competition, which is sponsored by Lockheed Martin, will be held Friday, March 15, through Sunday, March 17 at the Fort Worth Thunderbirds Flying Field in Fort Worth, Texas. S&T’s Advanced Aero Vehicle Group team will compete with 75 collegiate teams from around the world, with some schools coming from as far away as Venezuela, Brazil, Poland, Italy, Canada and India, in addition to teams from schools from across the United States.
In this year’s competition there are four main components. Students must present a technical design to SAE and Lockheed Martin for review and pass a technical inspection of their aircraft on Friday, March 15. The team will fly its plane once between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 16, and again between 8 a.m. and noon on Sunday, March 17.
The team’s objective is to use its 8-pound plane carry a 15-pound static payload and a 3-pound “humanitarian aid package,” a sandbag, which must be dropped on a target from 100 feet in the air. Scoring for this event is based on the sandbag’s proximity to the specified target.
The plane is using a .46 cubic inch motor and has an 8.5 feet wingspan. During flight, electronics on the plane will transmit real-time altitude and first-person-view video. Students will use this data to direct the pilot as he lines up to drop the sandbag.
This year, in the event of a crash that would prevent the plane from flying, team members constructed a secondary plane.
Dr. Walter Eversman, Curators’ Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at S&T, is the AAVG team advisor and Jason Brown, a senior in aerospace engineering from Bolivar, Mo., is the team leader for the spring 2013 semester. Brown leads a group of 33 S&T students in the design and implementation of the group’s projects.
Spectators are welcome at all Collegiate Design Series competitions. Admission is free.
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