SAE Aero Design East: BYU-Idaho Aero Team 326 – Final Report Document 2017-01-6000
This report describes the aircraft designed and built by the Brigham Young University Idaho (BYU-Idaho) Aero Design Team. The aircraft was built for the SAE Aero East Competition 2017 hosted in Lakeland, Florida. The objective is to design an all-electric aircraft optimized to carry as much weight as possible, while also minimizing the empty weight of the aircraft capable of successfully completing a flight circuit. A flight circuit is defined as flying completely around two safety cones for a total distance of about 726ft. The challenge has provided the team with the opportunity to improve design and manufacturing skills, while also gaining experience in real life engineering challenges. As a result, the team greatly increased their knowledge of aeronautical design and manufacturing.
BYU-Idaho has developed a balsa/plywood carbon fiber reinforced fixed wing aircraft weighing approximately .7lbs, capable of carrying more than 4lbs. When configured for flight, its wings span 60in, and an overall length of 20.8in. Its wing can be broken down into three 20in segments. The aircraft is easily transported in a 6in diameter tube that is 20.3in in length. In order to maximize interior space and manufacturability, the fuselage was not streamlined. Aerodynamic advantages gained from streamlining were considered negligible. The three wing segments are made out of balsa wood ribs attached to a carbon fiber balsa wood composite spar.