2014 Aero Design Rules

WARRENDALE, Pa., Aug. 9, 2013 - The 2014 SAE Aero Design Rules are now available!! 

 In our plan of revamping one class every year, Regular Class has had a major overhaul.  The new changes have taken considerable effort by the rules committee and I believe these changes are positive and beneficial in giving engineering students real world experience.  Let’s take a look at some of the major points of change and reasons for them.
One: Regular Class is now an all-electric propulsion class. Almost every small commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), platform on the market uses an electric propulsion system.  We hope students can learn the art of choosing and mating the right combination of electrical components to optimize their electrical system based on the new requirements. 

Two: use of ballast has always been a point of contention with organizers and student teams.  This year we decided that since the use of ballast is inevitable, that teams can use ballast as they see fit with one restriction.   It can be used anywhere on the aircraft, at any time and in any amount except in the “enclosed” payload bay volume.  What do we mean by an “enclosed” payload bay volume?

Three: The payload bay volume must now be a box where the weights can be inserted from the top.  Why a box?  So organizers can now, without a doubt, verify that no ballast is used in the payload bay volume.

 Four: students are now required to submit a weight and balance form to accurately locate the C.G. for the empty weight and “fully loaded” aircraft.  This is a real world requirement that every aircraft manufacturer uses.  Datum planes and moment arms will be a part of your C.G. calculations.

 Five: the last major change is to the scoring formula. Since this is a weight lifting contest, we will now use a summation of all the weights lifted from all flight rounds to determine a winner.  Of course, this is a quick overview for Regular Class so please, read the rules carefully and thoroughly for ALL the changes, for all classes.