Advanced Aero Vehicle Group Takes 3rd In Advanced Class Design

The SAE Aero folks haven’t posted the full event results, but we do know this. Missouri S&T took 3rd place in the design event, pretty good considering the level of international talent that comes together for this fly-off.
The Miners fly in the rarified air (another pun intended) of the advanced class. What’s the difference? To look at some aircraft in the regular event, not much. Large aircraft in both classes, and each strives to carry more and more payload as the weekend goes on and the attrition rate goes up.
The advanced class adds mandatory braking systems and sensors that record landing and take-off distances. The tough thing is, based on modeling their designs AC teams must also predict their actual ground distances.
Officials managed to run five micro-, regular- and advanced-class rounds in just a day and a half. The more planes that met their doom, the faster the rounds went. In this morning’s 5th round only three of the top-tier were still rolling, and one of the best regular-class planes met a spectacular end just feet from a safe and valid flight.
ChinaSUN_1487.jpgAt the end of round #4, the Miners were in 6th place despite notching just one flight. They took 3rd in design and second in tech presentation, just half a point behind last year’s champion Poland.
The dominant 2012 team was China’s Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT). That plane had two small engines, a pusher and puller, each of which drove a large, slow-speed propellor through a set of noisy reduction gears, It flew steady, flew high, and landed beautifully. S&T PR officer Nick Eplin described their plane as “very light, very strong, and built with great precision.”
*Great to know BIT officials toured the S&T campus just about a year ago, just before the Kummer Student Design Center was opened to the public. Too bad they had to see the old Design Center workshop.