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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. 96-125

Ohio State University Students Receive Award in NASA/FAA General Aviation Aircraft Design Competition

A student team from Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, won an award in the 1996 NASA/FAA National General Aviation Design Competition. A special category award for Greatest Retrofit Potential was given to the design team. The $500 award, which will be shared by team members, is sponsored by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Air Safety Foundation.

Bruce Landsberg, executive director, AOPA Air Safety Foundation, presented the award to team representatives 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 to stimulate engineering students and provide the basis for a quality educational experience while helping students understand the economic relevance of general aviation.

This award was given to Ohio State because their design has the greatest potential for being retrofitted in currently operating general aviation aircraft. The design was undertaken by 13 students in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Applied Mechanics and Aviation. Dr. Gerald P. Chubb was the faculty advisor.

The team concentrated on designing an integrated cockpit system for an advanced general aviation aircraft. Students began by conducting a market survey which found that more than 60 percent of those surveyed cited time and money as the main reasons for not getting a pilot's license. The students addressed these concerns in their design which features high quality, state-of-the-art avionics, user-friendly pilot aids, advanced flight navigation displays and computer-based training systems.

The review panel, comprised of general aviation experts from industry, government and academia, cited the Ohio State design package for its excellent review of the status of general aviation and its strong human factors focus. Panel members praised the team for striking a good balance between use of technology and cost effectiveness.

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to providing aviation education and safety programs for general aviation. The foundation's mission is to save lives and promote accident prevention through pilot education.

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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