Arthur Brown won the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation’s Undergraduate Individual Aircraft Design Competition on October 16th 2015.
Read more on the Faculty News website.
This year’s competition asked contestants to submit a design for a very long range uninhabited strike vehicle that could fly autonomously for 1,000 nautical miles or more, drop 4,000 pounds of bombs on a predesignated target and then return to base.
“The particularly challenging aspect of this design problem was the extreme range, which required a very high fuel fraction,” said Steve Brandt, professor, Department of Aeronautics, United States Air Force Academy. “As a result, students couldn’t simply find an existing aircraft with similar characteristics to use in sizing this new design. They were required to model the design mission and the aircraft empty weight fraction, then size the aircraft so that it met the required mission radius. The student who did this most accurately concluded that the aircraft weight would likely need to be over 100,000 pounds, which was correct.” Brandt concluded, “Brown was tenacious in making sure his design ‘closed.’ He made an initial prediction of size based on historical data, concluded that it would not meet the mission requirements, and then went through two more complete sizing iterations until he arrived at a solution that worked. This is very commendable and demonstrates the commitment to quality engineering work that AIAA wants to promote in new engineers.”
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