SAE Collegiate Design Series

April 24-26, 2015
Van Nuys, California, USA
March 13-15, 2015
Lakeland, Florida, USA
March 2-7, 2015
Houghton, Michigan
May 13-16, 2015
Brooklyn, Michigan
June 17-20, 2015
Lincoln, Nebraska
June 17-20, 2015
Lincoln, Nebraska
April 27-30, 2015
Loudon, New Hampshire
May 27-30, 2015
Portland, Oregon
May 7-10, 2015
Baltimore, Maryland
April 9-12, 2015
Auburn, Alabama
June 4-5, 2015
Marshall, Michigan

Aero Design West 2013 Recap

WARRENDALE, Pa., April 24, 2013

The 2013 Aero Design West competition was held in Van Nuys, CA at Valley Flyers’ Field on April 12-14, 2013 with presentations and technical inspections being held at Airtel Plaza Hotel. The event began Friday with team registration, technical inspections, and design presentations held at the Airtel Plaza Hotel.

Written Design Reports
Participating teams submitted a Design Report prior to the competition explaining their selection of the overall aircraft configuration and showing how they reached the conclusion that their particular design will complete their intended mission depending on the class of aircraft they are entering. Top awards in the Written Design Paper went to: 

Written Design Report– Micro Class
1st Place              #329: Jain University
2nd Place             #326: Polish Air Force Academy
3rd Place              #333: University of Calgary

Written Design Report – Advanced Class
1st Place              #215: University of California – Davis
2nd Place             #205: Saint Louis University
3rd Place              #212: Montana State University

Written Design Report– Regular Class
1st Place              #037: Warsaw University of Technology
2nd Place             #018: Virginia Tech
3rd Place              #030: University of Akron

Oral Presentations
Teams also participated in the Oral Presentations, where they had to try to convince an industry customer judging panel to purchase their aircraft design over all others. Each team gave a detailed explanation of how they arrived at their particular design, as well as presenting any results of testing to justify their design choices. After their presentation, judges asked questions to test the team’s knowledge. Taking top awards in the Oral Presentations were: 

 Oral Presentation – Micro Class
1st Place              #329: Jain University
2nd Place             #328: Warsaw University of Technology
3rd Place              #323: Queen’s University – Ontario

Oral Presentation– Advanced Class
1st Place              #216: Stevens Institute of Technology
2nd Place             #215: University of California: Davis
3rd Place              #217: Warsaw University of Technology

Oral Presentation – Regular Class
1st Place              #022: Northern Arizona University
2nd Place             #020: University of California – Davis
3rd Place              #005: Ecole Nationale D’Aerotechnique

Friday culminated with an all team meeting where teams were briefed on the next day’s flight activities and procedures.  

Saturday morning began the third portion of the Aero Design competition where each team would put their designs to the test in actual flight rounds. Teams moved out to Valley Flyers’ Field to complete this portion. The weather was cool with slightly stronger winds that offered a challenge to some teams.

With three classes each group is required to complete a different mission in their flying abilities.

Regular Class - The objective of Regular Class is to design an aircraft that can lift as much weight as possible while observing the available power and aircraft’s length, width, and height requirements. Accurately predicting the lifting capacity of the aircraft is an important part of the exercise, as prediction bonus points often determine the difference in placement between competing teams.

Advanced Class- The objective of the Advanced Class is to design the most efficient aircraft capable of accurately dropping a three pound (3lb) humanitarian aid package from a minimum of 100ft off the ground. Though the class is mostly focused on mission success, students will need to perform trade studies to optimize empty weight and anticipate repair build-up weight while meeting several aircraft design requirements.

Micro Class- The objective of Micro Class is to design a system containing a portable (modular based) UAV and launching system within specified packaging requirements. The aircraft will be launched either by hand, or by use of an engineered launching system without the use of a runway for takeoff. In either case, the entire system must be contained within the specified packaging requirements. The aircraft is also tasked with carrying the highest payload fraction possible while simultaneously pursuing the lowest empty weight possible. High performance and operational availability are critical through the entirety of the competition.

With a total of sixty-eight teams on site, the volunteers and organizers kept them moving right along throughout the day beginning with Micro Class, followed by Regular Class, then Advanced Class. The teams were able to complete four rounds for each class. Although there were some crashes, the teams held strong with four rounds in on Saturday.  Teams spent Saturday evening calculating their approaches for how to be victorious on Sunday.

On Sunday, competitive teams continued to push their aircrafts to perform better, which kept the Tech Inspection team busy. Teams spent Sunday morning calculating scores and dealing with density altitudes higher than Saturday.  Teams were able get two rounds of flying in, bringing the total to six rounds.  The day concluded with the awards ceremony crowning winners.

Overall Winner – Micro Class
1st Place              #328: Warsaw University of Technology
2nd Place             #327: Middle East Technical University
3rd Place              #317: Vellore Institute of Technology

Overall Winner – Advanced Class
1st Place              #217: Warsaw University of Technology
2nd Place             #215 University of California – Davis
3rd Place              #205: Saint Louis University

Elliot & Dorothy Green Overall Winner – Regular Class
1st Place              #037: Warsaw University of Technology
2nd Place             #030: University of Akron
3rd Place              #021: Kansas State University

SAE would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank our lead organizer, Gene Holloway, for all the hard work that went into making this event a successful one. As well our hosts Lockheed Martin and the Valley Flyers and Volunteers, and the following:

Lonnie Dong -  National Scorekeeper
Oliver Alvarado -  Organizer/Rules Committee Member
Glenn Cashion - Rules Committee Member
Lockheed Martin Volunteers
Valley Flyers’ Field
Technical Inspectors
Presentation Judges
Written Report Judges
Registration Volunteers
Setup Volunteers
Line Judges
Flight Stewarts
Fuel Technicians
Weight Technicians
Pit Boss

SAE would also like to thank our sponsors it is with your continued support that we are able to provide such a successful competition to our students, and we thank you for your contributions as well as the volunteers that you provide for us onsite.

Lockheed Martin
Solid Works
Byron Fuel

For a complete listing of the results please visit