The University of Cincinnati College of Engineering and Applied Science Aerocats Team ranked high in the 2014 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Aero Design East® Competition.
The annual aerospace design competition was held April 11-13, 2014. Presentations and technical inspections took place at the Forsythe Conference Center in Cumming, Georgia, while flight rounds took place at GMA Air Field in Ball Ground, Georgia.
The competition comprised three classes/design objectives: micro class, regular class and advanced class.
The UC Aerocats pose with their prize-winning aircraft.
- The micro class was asked to make a small aircraft, within a certain time span, that was capable of lifting a large amount of weight while being able to fit into a box.
- The regular class task was to create an aircraft that conformed to a length/width/height requirement while being capable of lifting a heavy weight using an electric motor.
- The mission of the advanced class was to create an aircraft capable of delivering a humanitarian aid package onto a target from at least 100 feet in the air.
This year, the UC Aerocats were divided into two separate teams, competing in both the regular and advanced classes against 42 and 14 teams, respectively. The regular class team was made up of students Andrew Clemens, Abass Jamal Eddine, Rob Fogelsong, Yonas Haile, Josh Harmon, Nate Havens, Randy Hull, Nate Richards, and Nick Schwartz. The advanced class team included students Andy Hagar, Matt Haubert, Justin Mugge, Joe Pikus, Brock Pleiman, Sean Rice, Billy Schlich, and Seth Westfall. Helping the teams were their faculty advisor John Livingston, MS and adjunct professor in the UC CEAS Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, and Santiago Panzardi, their pilot.
Each team competed with an aircraft that the students had designed and built by themselves. The students designed these crafts using the knowledge and skill sets they acquired in the classroom and also at their co-op assignments. The build process for both of the teams’ first aircraft totaled about 500 manufacturing hours with countless hours using CAD (computer-aided design), computational fluid dynamics (CFD) programs and flight testing.
Both teams experienced great success while competing against other top schools in the U.S., as well as teams from Brazil, Canada, Mexico and three other countries. The Aerocats placed first in the regular class overall oral presentation category, fourth in highest payload lifted and overall written report, putting them fifth overall. They placed first in the advanced class overall oral presentation category, second for closest to target and overall team score, and third for overall written report.
Brock Pleiman, member of the advanced class Aerocats team, reflects, “The success of both of our teams attests to the amount of high quality education that we have acquired here in class, as well as the through our co-op rotations. It is my belief that all team members are proud of our accomplishments while ‘representing UC’ in an international competition!”