Sponsor: MSU M&IE Department, Dr. Doug Cairns

A group of Montana State engineering students will have the opportunity to design and construct a remote control aircraft to enter into the SAE Aero Design West competition. This competition is an annual event that encourages undergraduate and graduate engineering students to develop specific skills that will prove necessary in their future career by introducing a real-life engineering challenge. This competition will progress a broad range of necessary engineering skills from specific aerospace design, including aerodynamics and aircraft structures, to everyday necessities such as interpersonal skills, scheduling and documentation. Within this project, the students will have the opportunity to develop an interest for aerospace design within fellow underclass engineering students and the possibility of creating a MSU aerospace program.

The students will have the decision to design their craft within the scope of one of three categories within the competition; micro, regular and advanced class. Each includes their own limitations and expectations. The micro class is intended for students to design an electric craft that maximizes payload while minimizing structural weight. The regular class intends to develop the interest and understanding of fundamental aircraft design. Lastly, the advanced class introduces the concept of a maximum gross payload by a gas powered engine while empowering a brake and data acquisition system that accurately records takeoff and landing roll.

The group must complete the design and construction phases of the project by the end of the 2012 Fall semester in order to compete in the 2013 SAE Aero Design West competition in March of 2012.

More information is available at SAE Collegiate Design Series: Aero DesignŽ West