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Michael Braukus
Headquarters, Washington, DC
(Phone: 202/358-1979)

Ashlee Fiser
Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA
(Phone: 757/864-6120)

Tony Molinaro
FAA Great Lakes Region
(Phone: 847/294-7427)

RELEASE NO. 02-067

For Release:   July 26, 2002

Student aviation design competition winners named

NASA and the FAA honored students from seven universities today as winners of the 2002 University Student Competition, an annual competition created to foster student interest in revolutionizing general aviation. Winning projects were recognized at an awards ceremony at the annual Experimental Aircraft Associations’ AirVenture fly-in at Oshkosh, WI.

Senior representatives from the NASA Langley Aerospace Vehicle Systems Technology Office and the FAA presented the awards on behalf of NASA’s General Aviation Programs Office, Langley Research Center and the FAA.

The nationwide competition is part of a government effort to stimulate technology breakthroughs and their application to general aviation. General aviation aircraft are generally defined as single or twin-engine, single-pilot, fixed-wing aircraft. This year, students were challenged to pursue innovative systems and technology concepts in support of NASA’s Small Aircraft Transportation Systems (SATS) research program.

In the Systems Innovation category:

  • Kansas State’s Department of Psychology, Manhattan, KS, took first place for their advanced cockpit system. The team’s design assists non-instrument rated pilots to land in poor weather conditions by simplifying complex flight tasks.

  • Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA, tied for second place with George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. The Tech team produced software that simulates a variety of travel situations, allowing travelers to choose options that best suit their needs. GMU’s team analyzed the potential for fractional ownership of small jets, and proved that the concept is a practical alternative to current air travel.

  • An honorable mention went to a second team from George Mason for their independent and ground-based air traffic management system.

In the Technology Innovation category:

  • University of Virginia’s Engineering Department, Charlottesville, VA, took first place for "Alaris," an aircraft concept that produced outstanding performance by combining a lightweight wing and body with a powerful turbofan engine.

  • A team from Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, and Loughborough University, Leicestershire, United Kingdom, took second place. Their joint effort resulted in "Ikelos," a uniquely designed aircraft that allows very short takeoffs and landings.

  • Third place went to Douglas Burch, an electrical engineering student from Ohio University, Athens, OH, for his enhanced heads-up display for future aircraft.

  • Honorable mention went to the University of Oklahoma and two teams from Ohio University for their innovative vehicle concepts.

All winners received a cash award, a commemorative trophy for their institutions and certificates of appreciation. Two students from the winning Kansas State team were awarded internships, which they are serving at NASA Langley this summer, in conjunction with the center’s Aerospace Research Summer Scholars (LARSS) program.

The 2003 competition will be broadened to include a separate high school division and include categories beyond general aviation. The all-new Revolutionary Vehicle Concepts and Systems Competition will be sponsored by the NASA Office of Aerospace Technology, and NASA Langley and Glenn Research Centers. NASA Langley’s Vehicle Systems Technology Office will lead the effort. Details will be available Aug. 15 at

For images of this year’s Technology Innovation winning designs, visit

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