Ohio Northern University finishes seventh at SAE Aero Design East
The Ohio Northern University student chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) captured seventh place at the SAE Aero Design East competition in Lakeland, Fla., from March 13-15.
The ONU team, nicknamed the “Bad News Bears,” participated in the “Regular Class” of the competition and competed among a field of 37 teams in the “Regular Class,” including national championship teams from Brazil, Canada, Puerto Rico, India, and Poland.
The “Regular Class” had flight rules that differed from the “Micro Class” and the “Unlimited Class.” The “Regular Class” teams were required to lift off from the runway within 200 feet of start of roll, complete at least one full lap of the airfield, and then land safely on the runway and be under complete control within 400 feet of touchdown.
The ONU airplane, dubbed “Dead Weight,” was designed and built entirely by ONU students. The flight goal of the competition was to successfully lift and fly the maximum weight possible in the airplane while adhering to certain flight-mission requirements.
Prior to the competition, each group submitted a written design report, which was judged by a team of evaluators for technical accuracy and correctness. On Friday of competition weekend, the teams delivered oral presentations to a panel of judges, including a demonstration of how quickly the payload could be loaded/unloaded from the airplane. Loading/unloading had to be accomplished within one minute, and Eric Holodnak, a senior mechanical engineering major from Jefferson, Ohio, demonstrated the unique system designed and built by the ONU team to accomplish this goal.
Following the presentation, the plane had to undergo “tech inspection” to ensure that it adhered to the design specifications in the report as well as the rules set forth for the competition. It was also inspected for all safety aspects so as to be deemed flightworthy. The flight rounds were next, and, over the course of Saturday and Sunday, four flight rounds were held. The ONU team’s airplane flew successfully in all four rounds and carried its maximum projected payload in the last two flights.
The team consisted of Ryan Cooperrider, a senior mechanical engineering major from Norwalk, Ohio; Luke Harmon, a junior mechanical engineering major from Conover, Ohio; Rebekah Douglass, a junior mechanical engineering major from Findlay, Ohio; Jordan Reeves, a junior mechanical engineering major from Belle Center, Ohio; Aaron Johnson, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Wapakoneta, Ohio; Andrew Huff, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Coldwater, Ohio; Katie Cooperrider, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Norwalk, Ohio; Logan Glauner, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Belle Center, Ohio; and Holodnak. The advisor for the group was Dr. Jed E. Marquart, professor of mechanical engineering at ONU.