JetStream team with SAE Aerodesign East competition awards (phot. JetStream archive)
Our students are very glad of their results at the SAE Aerodesign East competition – unofficial world championships of unmanned plane designers. In the micro class, they won three medals, and in the remaining classes they also took high places
The competition lasted for three days. 75 teams from such countries as the USA, United Arab Emirates, Canada, India, Mexico, Brazil or Venezuela took part in the rivalry held in Lakeland, Florida, USA.
In the first phase, the competition jury assessed technological solutions applied in the planes and presentations made by the designers. The “JetStream” crew, put up by the Student Aviation Club, took second place in the advanced category, and sixth in the micro class, whereas in the regular class they were out of the lead.
But on Saturday, the first day of flights, they managed to catch up. In the advanced class, they maintained their second place, while in micro and regular classes they went up to fourth place.
In the final standings, our students achieved best results in the micro class, taking third place in general classification (with a total of 167.1003 points), second place in the load to plane weight ratio category, and third in the category of heaviest load carried. The team from Georgia Institute of Technology won the micro class (197.7675 points), ahead of the Brazilian crew from Universidade Federal de Sao Joao del Rei (168.3148 points).
In this class, the designers’ task is to build a plane that will fit into a small tube but after folding out will be able to carry as heavy load as possible. Wrocław University of Technology students started in this class with their “μ” plane with a curb weight of just 250 g and able to carry a load 5 times heavier.
In the regular class, “JetStream” took fifth place in general classification, starting with a plane called “Blue Larry”, named after Larry Kaye, a Lockheed Martin engineer and the team’s great friend, who died a few months ago.
In this category, the teams were to build planes whose summed height, length, and wing spread did not exceed 175 inches (almost 4,5 metres). Also, use of highly effective materials, such as carbon fibre, glass fibre, or aramid fibre, was forbidden. The plane had to be able to fly the distance of 62 km. Like in the micro class, its final score depended also on the load it was able to carry.
The Cincinnati University team from USA was victorious in the regular class, with the Brazilian team from Universidade Federal de Itajubá as the runner-up, and the Canadian crew from Concordia University in third place.
During this year’s edition of the event, the “JetStream” team also made their debut in the advanced class, with a plane named “Hien”. And it was a very successful debut, as they took fourth place in general classification.
In this class, the designers are to build a plane that not only has to carry the heaviest load possible, but also has to be able to drop another, lighter load, known as humanitarian airdrop, from an altitude of 33 m, as close as possible to a marked spot on the ground. Therefore, it has to be fitted with optoelectronic devices and sensors that calculate the airdrop trajectory.
The Georgia Institute of Technology proved best in the category, ahead of teams from Concordia University, and Tennessee University.
The SAE Aerodesign competition is organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers and the Lockheed Martin company – a potentate in the airplane sector and manufacturer of the famous F-16 and F-22 Raptor fighters. This year, our team participated already for the 7th time in the competition. A total of 13 designers worked on the planes: Mateusz Łabno, Tomasz Tworek, Jan Byrtek, Marek Marczewski, Michał Początek, Michał Stempkowski, Bolesław Rohm, Konrad Nowacki, Maciej Pańczak, Jakub Radwański, Kacper Budnicki, Mateusz Pruba, and Dominik Kędzierski.
Translation: Dariusz Więcławski