SAE Collegiate Design Series: Aero Design®
2011 SAE Aero Design West
WARRENDALE, Pa., March 23 00:00:00.0, 2011
Brains, Ducks & Nuts Overall Winners at 2011 SAE Aero Design West!
The 2011 edition of the SAE Aero Design West competition was a windblown affair. Winds reaching 30 mph (26 Knots) were clocked at the Fort Worth Thunderbird Flying Field. Teams from Letourneau University (The Rubber Ducky) Regular Class, Polytechnic Institute of NYU (AeroNuts) Advanced Class and The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Micro Class (Pinky & the Brains) all took home overall top honors.
The three day event, held in Benbrook, Texas was the first of two SAE Aero Design competitions scheduled for the 2011 season. Lockheed Martin hosted and organized the event with the first day’s events being held at The Lockheed Martin Recreation Association (LMRA). The last two days were held at the Fort Worth Thunderbird field located within Dutch Branch Park.
Fifty-four teams took part in the Aero Design West competition which included having students submit a written design report, an oral presentation and two days of flights that tested every design aspect of their planes. The event was hosted and organized by Lockheed Martin and lead by Oliver Alvarado, along with his organizing committee and hundreds of volunteers from the area. The event focused on developing young engineers skills by challenging them to design, build and test a radio controlled plane and adhere to the rules and regulations put forth by SAE International. The competition has been designed to provide exposure to real world situations that engineers face in their everyday work environment.
The first day’s activities included a technical and safety check of all planes to determine whether the teams complied with the specific rules and regulations. The day also included an oral presentation by every team that challenged their interpersonal communication skills. The oral presentations gave students the opportunity to convince a government customer to purchase their aircraft design, industry professionals served as judges for this event. Teams gave detailed explanations of how they arrived at the conclusion that their design was the best, and were tested by their judges with a question and answer forum.
The last two days, Saturday and Sunday, were the flying days where the teams had the opportunity to test their theories. Thunderbird Field was the perfect venue to handle this competition and the teams. The additional challenge of high winds added extra drama for the teams. A total of 9 rounds of flights provided the teams with enough flying chances to test their designs fully. This hands-on experience and project management exercises provided students with the skills necessary to enter the real world environment in aerospace engineering.
The overall winners in all classes are:
Team #017 LeTourneau University, The Rubber Ducky
318 Univ of Minnesota - Twin Cities, Pinky & the Brains
216 Polytechnic Institute of NYU, AeroNuts
SAE would like to thank all of those who helped make this event a success. A big thank you goes to Lockheed Martin, the Fort Worth Thunderbirds, and all the sponsors and especially to our lead organizer Oliver Alvarado and his organizing committee. As with all SAE CDS competitions, these events would not have been possible without our volunteers. Those who volunteered and selflessly gave up their weekend to devote time to this event are very much appreciated.
The full tally of results can be found at: