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Don Nolan-Proxmire Embargoed Until: August 3, 1996

Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
(202) 358-1983

Keith Henry

Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
(804) 864-6120

Mary Sandy

Virginia Space Grant Consortium
(804) 865-0726

Release No. 96-121

NASA and FAA Announce General Aviation Design Competition Winners

Oshkosh, Wis.--NASA and the FAA announced the winners of their 1996 National General Aviation Design Competition today at the Experimental Aircraft Association's Annual Fly-In Convention and Sport Aviation Exhibition in Oshkosh, Wis.

The competition, which is in its second year, allows university students to participate in a major national effort to revitalize the U.S. general aviation sector. For the purpose of the contest, general aviation aircraft are defined as single-pilot, fixed-wing, single-engine, propeller-driven aircraft for two to six passengers. Teams of undergraduate and graduate students from U.S. engineering schools work with faculty advisors to address design challenges for a small aircraft transportation system.

Teams were asked to address design challenges in one or more of the following technical areas: integrated cockpit systems; propulsion, noise and

emissions; integrated design and manufacturing; aerodynamics; and operating

infrastructure. Students were allowed to consider designs for an entire aircraft or for a system or subsystem.

The first-place award was given to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University of Daytona Beach, Fl. The team received a cash award of $3,000 and a $5,000 award for the university's Aerospace Engineering Department. The team's innovative design for a four-passenger, twin-boom aircraft with pusher propulsion incorporates outstanding safety features with lowered vehicle production, maintenance and operating costs.

The second-place award was presented to three Kansas universities that worked together on a joint design project: the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., Wichita State University in Wichita, Kan., and Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. The team will share a $2,000 cash award for its design of an economically viable light airplane to be constructed of composite materials instead of traditional metals.

The design team from Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa., received the third-place award and will share $1,000. The design is for a four-passenger, single-engine, twin-boom, H-tail aircraft with retractable nose gear. Ease of manufacturing was a hallmark of this low cost, relatively high performance aircraft design.

A special award for Greatest Retrofit Potential was given to the design team from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. The $500 award is sponsored by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Air Safety Foundation. The team concentrated on an integrated, state-of-the-art cockpit system with pilot-friendly interfaces, as well as computer-based training systems to make pilot training easier and more affordable.

The National General Aviation Design Competition is coordinated for NASA and the FAA by the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. Guidelines for the third annual competition to be held during the 1996-1997 academic year will be available from the consortium in August at (804) 865-0726 or from msandy@pen.k12.va.us.

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