Aero Team ILK AGH are getting ready for the US-held aviation contest

The airplane constructed for the SAE Aero Design West competition, photo: archive file of Aero Team ILK AGH

Tests conducted by Aero Team ILK AGH, photo: archive file of Aero Team ILK AGH

As the end of March and the beginning of April is the period of intensive preparations for the most prestigious contest organised for prospective aviation engineers – SAE Aero Design West, which will be held on 6-8 April in California, the members of Aero Team ILK AGH are working hard to face up to the challenge. On 1 April out students left for the US to spend the last few days preceding the competition performing a series of final tests of the aircraft they designed specially for the event.

SAE Aero Design West has been held for over 30 years by the Society of Automotive Engineering (SAE) in cooperation with NASA and several commercial companies, including Lockheed Martin and Boeing. The main aim of the event is to confront students with problems that professional engineers need to tackle in real life. The teams participating in the contest compete in three classes: Micro, Regular and Advanced.

Aero Team ILK AGH will compete in the most challenging class – Advanced. The team will design and build a cargo aircraft which, while meeting all prescribed requirements, will best complete its mission. The task requires that the aircraft drops a payload from an altitude of 30 metres to a target zone located on the ground. With the lowest empty weight possible, the aircraft should be capable of carrying the heaviest payload. The only design limitation is the engine capacity set at 7.5 cm3.

The design the members of Aero Team ILK AGH have been working on is an unmanned flying platform. With small empty weight, it is capable of lifting up to 25 kilograms of payload. The design is based on highly advanced composite materials and innovative and customised electronic solutions.

Aero Team ILK AGH is composed of AGH UST’s students: Tomasz Nowiński, Tomasz Frąk, Dominik Kędzia, Wiktoria Żywiec, Szymon Byrtek of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics, Tomasz Grzywna and Maciej Śliwiński of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Automatics, Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering, Urszula Buszkiewicz of the Faculty of Mining Surveying and Environmental Engineering and Ida Knapik of the Faculty of Humanities, with Prof. dr hab. inż. Tadeusz Uhl as the team’s research supervisor.

This year’s edition of SAE Aero Design West will attract over 70 teams from the US, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mexico and Egypt. Alongside the AGH UST’s team, Poland will be represented by teams from Silesian University of Technology, Poznań University of Technology, Warsaw University of Technology and Wrocław University of Technology.