It's A Bird … It's A Plane … It's A UAV

It's A Bird ... It's A Plane ... It's A UAV
Members of the UAV team with their plane in Ohio.

A team of Aerospace Engineering students recently placed third in a flying competition hosted by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Air Force Research Lab in Dayton, Ohio.

The team was one of eight teams selected to attend the competition on June 13-16 at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base.  

Over the course of about a year, the 10-member team designed an Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in the class ARO 499: Aerospace Special Topics. The UAV was built using an existing model airplane kit that could be modified for the competition.

The competition required the aircraft to fly for at least 10 minutes over a closed course, generate and dissipate a certain amount of electrical power on board, show targets on the ground using an airborne video camera, and transmit information to a ground station.  

“Other student competitions are meant to build airframes to do a certain task (carry water, drop payloads, etc.) but few have the engineering difficulty that this one did,” said Don Edberg, UAV team faculty advisor and Aerospace Engineering professor.

Held for the first time, the UAV competition was topped by the University of Missouri, University of Florida and Cal Poly Pomona.  

The UAV team received its third-place trophy from the AFRL at the AIAA 43rd Annual Joint Propulsion Conference in Cincinnati.  

See a short film of the UAV here,