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November 27, 2007

J.D. Harrington
Headquarters, Washington

Emily Sturgill
Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.

New Aeronautics Competition for High School and College Students

HAMPTON, Va. - A new aeronautics competition encourages high school and college students to share their ideas of future aircraft with NASA for a chance to receive trophies, student internship offers and cash prizes.

The Fundamental Aeronautics Program of the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate recently announced this new competition for the 2007-2008 academic year. The competition challenges students to write about the next generation of aircraft, what they would look like and how they would operate.

For the competition, high school students will write a research paper that explains ideas for a future aircraft that could revolutionize passenger and cargo travel in the year 2058. Papers should include sections on fuel, environmental effects, noise levels, runway length and conditions, operating costs, passenger and cargo loads, and service operations.

A group of federal, university, industry and other expert representatives will judge the high school entries, which are limited to 12 pages. Entries will be judged on how well students focus their essays and meet four basic criteria: informed content, creativity and imagination, organization, and writing. Subject to availability of funds, team entries can win cash awards up to $1,500 and individual entries up to $1,000.

College students are challenged to write about their designs for the next generation of 21st-century aircraft. Design considerations include reduced environmental impact, reduced noise, daily operations on short runways, cost analysis for production and operation, passenger and cargo limits, structure and materials, and engines. Students should also briefly describe three valid scenarios for potential use of this vehicle in the year 2058.

Each college entry is limited to 25 pages and must be sponsored by a supervising or advising faculty member. Winning entries may be invited to a student forum sponsored by NASA and/or industry, receive offers of student internships, and receive other prizes, including up to $5,000 cash, depending on available funds.

College entries will be judged by how well they address all aspects of the problem they chose to discuss, including the following criteria: innovation and creativity, discussion of feasibility, a brief review of current literature, and a baseline comparison with the relevant current technology, system or design.

These two competitions have different eligibility and submission requirements. To learn more about the competition, visit:


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