For Release: Dec. 9, 1997
H. Keith Henry
NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.
FAA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
Experimental Aircraft Association, Oshkosh, Wis.
Major Ginger Jabour
Air Force Wright Labs, Dayton, Ohio
RELEASE NO. 97-129
UNIVERSITY TEAM IS SELECTED IN 'BUILD IT, FLY IT'
A team of students from four Kansas universities has won the
"Design It, Build It, Fly It" award in the National General
Aviation Design Competition, a first-of-its-kind competition
sponsored by NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the
Air Force and the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA).
The team received a $10,000 award in a ceremony held at Wichita
State University on Dec. 9. At project completion, the team will
fly the award-winning design as a highlight of the EAA Annual
Convention and Fly-In at Oshkosh, Wis. in August 1998 and receive a
$500 award from the EAA.
The universities are University of Kansas, Lawrence; Wichita
State University, Wichita; Kansas State University, Manhattan; and
Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kan.
The competition seeks to involve students at U.S. engineering
universities in a national effort to rebuild the U.S. general
aviation sector through design efforts that meet general aviation
revitalization goals. In the competition, student teams competed
for an opportunity to take a well-evolved design concept with
innovative general aviation applications to a proof-of-concept
phase. Flight concept demonstrations included approaches such as
radio controlled models, prototype flight testing, in-flight
simulation, or software in-flight demonstrations.
The Kansas Design Team's proposal is for two advanced
radio-controlled (RC) models of a next generation,
turbofan-powered, general aviation aircraft. Most small airplanes
flying today are equipped with technologies at least 30 years old,
including piston-propeller engines that fly at speeds below 250
mph. The aircraft design being modeled by the Kansas team is based
on the new FJX-2 small turbofan engine being developed by Williams
International, Walled Lake, Mich. and the NASA Lewis Research
Center, Cleveland, Ohio. This engine offers potential for a faster
and quieter aircraft design capable of flying at higher altitudes
than piston-powered aircraft. Dubbed "Aladdin" by the team, the
design includes a study of user-friendly (de-coupled) flight
control systems predicted to offer a major improvement in ease of
operation. The team hopes its work will encourage the general
aviation industry to transition from piston to small turbofan
The students, under the guidance of faculty advisors, plan to
build two quarter-scale models of a four-passenger, single-engine
aircraft. The first model will be flown as a
conventionally-controlled, jet-powered RC model. The second will be
used to gather data on the full-sized aircraft configuration. The
model will contain instruments, including a Global Position System
(GPS) receiver, to provide real-time flight and position
information. This data will be used to predict flying
characteristics of the full-sized aircraft. The second model will
be controlled via real-time imaging on a ground station that
simulates the pilot's field of view. The image will be transmitted
from a video camera in the model.
In addition to the $10,000 Design It, Build It, Fly It award,
the team will also receive support from the Wichita State
University National Institute for Aviation Research; Finley's
Hobbies, Air Capitol Hobbies and Precision Pattern, all of Wichita;
Foam Enterprises, Inc., Minneapolis; Shell Resins, Robart
Manufacturing and The Turbine Connection, all of Plainfield, Ill.;
and the Wichita State University Student Government Association.
The students will produce a peer-reviewed technical report on the
flight testing. The aviation safety review portion of the project
will take place at EAA's Sun and Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla. in
April 1998. The Kansas Design Team will also provide presentations
and demonstrations at the EAA Annual Convention and Fly-In at
Oshkosh, Wis. in August 1998.
The National General Aviation Design Competition also provides a
range of awards for student teams developing paper designs tied to
national general aviation revitalization goals. Letters of intent
to participate in this phase of the competition are due by Jan. 30,
1998. The competition is managed for the sponsors by the Virginia
Space Grant Consortium. For more information, contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 757/865-0726.
- end -
text-only version of this release