University aviation design competition winners named
NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Force
Research Laboratory (AFRL) today awarded honors to four university
teams for their innovative general aviation designs. The winners of
the National General Aviation Design Competition were recognized at
a ceremony held at AirVenture2001, the Experimental Aircraft
Associations Annual Convention and Fly-In at Oshkosh, WI.
The competition calls for individuals or teams of U.S students
to participate in a major national effort to rebuild the U.S.
general aviation sector. Participants are challenged to meet the
engineering goals of the Advanced General Aviation Transport
Experiment (AGATE) project. For the purpose of the contest, general
aviation aircraft are typically defined as single or twin engine
(turbine or piston), single-pilot, fixed-wing aircraft for 2 - 6
passengers. NASA, the FAA and AFRL hope to stimulate breakthroughs
in technology and their application in the general aviation
The first place award was presented to a team from Embry Riddle
Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach, FL. The teams design
seeks to retrofit the popular Cessna 182 Skylane with a modern,
turbocharged reciprocating diesel engine that runs on readily
available jet A fuel. The review panel, which was comprised of
representatives from NASA, FAA, industry and academia, praised the
design for its practicality and rated the design effort as
The first place award provides a total of $3,000 to Embry
Riddles design team members and a $5,000 award to the
universitys Aerospace Engineering Program. James Ladesic and
Reda Mankbadi served as the teams faculty advisors.
Second place honors went to Penn State
University, University Park, PA. The teams design,
Defiance, features a four-place, single engine,
turbofan-powered, general aviation aircraft. The twin tail boom,
twin vertical tail layout uses both aluminum and modern composite
materials, and features advanced aerodynamics, avionics and support
systems. The second place award provides a $2000 prize to the team.
Hubert C. "Skip" Smith was the teams faculty advisor. Penn
State has won a place award in every year of the competition.
The third place award went to the University of Virginia,
Charlottesville, VA, for a design dubbed Vector Evolution.
The design combined the fast, high altitude performance of a
business jet with short takeoff and landing performance of a
typical general aviation aircraft. The teams faculty advisor
was James McDaniel. For third place, the team will share a
An honorable mention in the General Aviation Design Competition
went to Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, and its collaborating
international partner Loughborough University, Leicestershire,
United Kingdom, for Tempus, an aircraft with a 3,600
nautical mile range. The team set a goal of efficient, affordable
and comfortable transportation between international destinations.
James Marchman was the Virginia Tech faculty advisor, and Gary Page
and Lloyd Jenkinson served as faculty advisors at Loughborough.
The best use of Air Force-developed technologies award was also
presented to the University of Virginias Vector
Evolution design. The team received an additional $3,000 from
the Air Force Research Laboratory. These technologies included:
wireless flight controls; non-hydraulic, electric actuator systems;
and aerogel and serrated engine nozzle edge noise reduction
The competition for the 2000 - 2001 academic year was managed by
the Virginia Space Grant Consortium. The AGATE project will end in
September 2001, and the new competition will be managed by the
General Aviation Programs Office, NASA Langley Research Center. A
preliminary announcement for the new competition is available under
EVENTS on the SATS web site (http://sats.nasa.gov).
Note: Electronic images to illustrate this story are available
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