This paper was prepared for the Student Activities Section of the 1992 SAE Aerospace Atlantic Conference.
The craft of engineering embodies skills and processes that can be invoked to solve problems. Exposure to real problems and the lessons learned in facing real challenges are often as much a part of engineering education as formal classes. This paper describes the experience of a team of young engineering students from Cedarville College participating in the SAE Aero Design Competition.
The Cedarville entry is a high wing tail dragging monoplane. It uses a narrow composite tube to connect the cargo box and stabilizer section. The swept back horizontal stabilizer is 19% of the wing area and the vertical is substantially oversize to provide an extra stability margin. An unusual airfoil is used to achieve high lift under low speed conditions. The wing span is 342.9 cm (135 inches), the aspect ratio 20, the wing area .558 sq meters (865 sq inches), the aircraft weight approximately 3.6 Kg (8 pounds) and the resultant estimated payload capability 10.34 Kg (23 pounds).
The experience of this group validated many of the premises that motivate SAE to sponsor a number of design competitions. A real appreciation was gained for the design process, teamwork, deadlines, material procurement, the path from concept to fabrication, and the importance of attention to detail.