For release: July 29, 1995
NASA Langley Research Center
Virginia Space Grant Consortium
RELEASE NO. 95-069
NASA/FAA Announce Aviation Design Competition Winners
NASA and the FAA have selected a team from three Kansas
universities as joint winners of their first National General
Aviation Design Competition for U.S. aeronautical and engineering
universities. The joint team was made up of students and faculty
from the University of Kansas, Lawrence; Kansas State University,
Manhattan; and Wichita State University, Wichita.
The contest challenged teams of undergraduate and/or graduate
students, working with faculty advisors, to address design
challenges for general aviation aircraft and related transportation
systems. The competition was held during the 1994-95 academic
For taking first place, the participating academic departments
of the joint Kansas team shared a $5,000 award and the student
design team members shared a $3,000 award. Their "Shrike" aircraft
concept was conceived to introduce advanced operator-friendly
technologies that promise to make general aviation flying easier
than driving a car. The new series of aircraft would feature
advanced flight control systems and a heavily automated, simplified
cockpit display and pilot interface system.
Second place and a $2,000 award went to the design team from
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, Fla. Their
Aquilas design concept suggested several innovative features to
enhance safety and efficiency of general aviation aircraft.
Features would include improved structural crashworthiness and a
Third place and a $1,000 award went to Mississippi State
University, Mississippi State, Miss., for conducting a study of
advanced cockpit and propulsion system concepts that would feature
the latest in pilot displays and early warning emergency systems.
These systems were designed to replace the older, less efficient
systems commonly found in general aviation aircraft today.
An honorable mention went to the UPM Design Group, made up of
members from the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, Va.,
the Pratt Institute at Brooklyn, N.Y., and the Mallen Research
Corporation of Charlottesville, Va. The team was honored for its
futuristic state-of-the-art aircraft design, which includes an
"ergonomically" designed cabin interior providing passengers with
access to the latest in onboard computer communication systems.
The design competition was created because NASA and the FAA want
to increase the involvement of the academic community in the
revitalization of the U.S. general aviation industry while
providing real-world design and development opportunities for
The competition is now an annual event. It allows university
students to participate in a national effort to develop
technologies for an aircraft transportation system for smaller
aircraft. It is intended to help raise student awareness of the
economic relevance of general aviation and its value for business
and personal use.
Design packages are reviewed by a panel of industry and
government experts who provide feedback to the student teams.
Design packages for the 1995/96 NASA/FAA General Aviation Design
Competition are due by May 6, 1996. Winners will be presented with
their awards at the annual Experimental Aircraft Association Fly-In
Convention and Sport Aviation Exhibition in Oshkosh, Wisc.
The competition is being coordinated by the Virginia Space Grant
Consortium, a nonprofit aerospace educational coalition, in
Hampton, Va. Copies of competition guidelines can be obtained from
the Consortium by phone at 804/865-0726 or fax at 804/865-7965.
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