Aero Design East 2013

WARRENDALE, Pa., March 24, 2013 - Aero Design East 2013
March 15-17, 2013
Fort Worth, Texas

The 2013 Aero Design East competition was held in Fort Worth, Texas at the Fort Worth Thunderbird Field, Mustang Park on Lake Benbrook with presentations and technical inspections being held at the Lockheed Martin Recreation Area (LMRA). The event began Friday with team registration, technical inspections, and design presentations held at the Lockheed Martin Recreation Area (LMRA).

All participating Aero Design East Teams are required to submit a Design Paper prior to the competition explaining their selection of the overall aircraft configuration and showing how they came to 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 301 Georgia Institute of Technology
2nd Place 314 Cedarville Univ
3rd Place 311 Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

Written Design Report – Advanced Class
1st Place 211 Pontificia Universidade Catolicha
2nd Place 212 Milwaukee School of Engrg
3rd Place 206 Missouri University of Science and Tech

Written Design Report– Regular Class
1st Place 016 Univ of Michigan - Ann Arbor
2nd Place 040 Universidad Iberoamericana
3rd Place 027 Georgia Institute of Technology

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 the judges will ask questions to test the team’s knowledge. Taking top awards in the Oral Presentations were: 

Oral Presentation – Micro Class
1st Place 323 Univ of Central Florida
2nd Place 321 Univ of Toronto
3rd Place 315 Cedarville Univ

Oral Presentation– Advanced Class
1st Place 206 Missouri University of Science and Tech
2nd Place 216 Virginia Tech
3rd Place 212 Milwaukee School of Engrg

Oral Presentation – Regular Class
1st Place 016 Univ of Michigan - Ann Arbor
2nd Place 025 Univ of Tulsa
3rd Place 026 Universita Degli Studi Di Udine

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 Event where each team would put their designs to the test in actual flight rounds. Teams moved out to Thunderbird Field, Mustang Park on Lake Benbrook to complete this portion. The weather held steady at a pleasant seventy five degrees with slightly stronger winds that played 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-six 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, and designs tested and modified, the teams held strong with four rounds in on Saturday all teams were already calculating their approaches for how to be number one on Sunday.

Sunday brought the teams to a calculated two rounds where the top ones knew what they had to do complete their intended task and become the overall winners of the day.  We saw some resurrections in the crashes from Saturday and the competition continued for the final two rounds. The tensions and stakes of the competition placing grew as the top teams began doing calculations and determining their standings and what it would take to win. The day concluded with the awards ceremony crowning #011 Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais as the overall winner in the Regular class and #301 Georgia Institute of Technology as the overall Micro class winner and #206 Missouri University of Science and Tech as the overall Advanced class winner.

SAE would like to take this opportunity to recognize and thank our lead organizer Oliver Alvarado for all the hard work that went into making this event a successful one. As well our hosts Lockheed Martin and the Thunderbird Field and Volunteers, and the following people that helped make this event run smoothly for all of their hard work and dedication to the program has made this event a success:

·         Lonnie Dong -  National Scorekeeper
·         Glenn Cashion – Rules Committee Representative
·         Mike Beriswill – Design Report Judge Coordinator
·         Lockheed Martin Volunteers
·         Thunderbird Field, Mustang Park
·         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
·         Infotech

·         NASA

·         Solid Works

·         Byron Fuel

·         ANSYS

For a complete listing of the results please visit