Don Nolan-Proxmire Embargoed Until: August 3, 1996
Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
Virginia Space Grant Consortium
Release No. 96-124
Penn State Garners Third Place in NASA/FAA Design
A student team from Pennsylvania State University, University
Park, Pa., took third 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,
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 Penn State design is for a four-passenger, single-engine,
twin-boom, H-tail design aircraft with retractable nose gear. The
high-wing design features fuel tanks in the wings which allow fuel
to be gravity-fed to the engines. The rear engine/propeller
combination provides improved visibility for the pilot and
passengers and allows for a larger, more comfortable cabin and
decreased cabin noise.
Dubbed by the students as "The Phoenix 2000," the design also
features a state-of-the art avionics package, user-friendly
instrument panel and safety features such as crashworthy seats, a
reliable passenger restraint system and a manually retractable
landing gear. Ease of manufacturing was a hallmark of this low
cost, relatively high-performance aircraft design.
The 14-student team undertook the design as part of the
aerospace engineering senior design class with Professor Hubert C.
Smith as the faculty advisor. Consultation was also provided by
Mynah Aircraft Structures Co. and several private aviation
The review panel, which was comprised of industry, government
and academic general aviation experts, cited the design as an
outstanding technical effort, with strong commercial viability and
highly credible performance data. As the third place winner, design
team members will share a cash award of $1,000.
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 email@example.com.
text-only version of this release