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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. 96-123

Kansas Universities Team to Win NASA/FAA Design Competition Award

A joint design effort by student teams from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan., Wichita State University in Wichita, Kan., and Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., took second place in the 1996 NASA/FAA National General Aviation Design Competition. The award was presented today in a special ceremony at the Experimental Aircraft Association's Annual Fly-In Convention and Sport Aviation Exhibition at Oshkosh, Wis.

The design competition seeks to involve students from U. S. engineering schools in the revitalization of the general aviation sector. Revitalization goals present open-ended design challenges that stimulate engineering students and provide the basis for a quality educational experience while helping students understand the economic relevance of general aviation.

The Kansas universities' design package created an economically viable light airplane made of composite materials. The review panel of general aviation experts

from industry, government and academia was impressed with the team's demonstration that an airplane built of composite materials produced in large quantities using an automated assembly method could have lower weight and cost than its metal counterpart. The team was cited for its outstanding effort, which included a strong systems engineering approach and a professional manufacturing plan.

Twenty-two students and 13 faculty advisors participated in the project. As the second place winner, design team members will share a cash award of $2,000.

The 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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