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Ohio Northern engineering students compete in SAE Aero Design competition

SAE Aero Design Team

Student teams from Ohio Northern University’s T.J. Smull College of Engineering garnered 15th- and 22nd-place finishes at the 2010 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Aero Design competition in Fort Worth, Texas.

Forty-seven teams from Canada, Brazil, Poland and the United States participated in this year’s event.

The goal of the annual competition is to design, build and fly a radio-controlled airplane that carries the maximum payload weight possible in a controlled flight manner. The airplanes must all use the same type of engine in an unmodified state, and the airplane length, wingspan and maximum height must total less than 200 inches.

The specific design and configuration of the aircraft is up to the student teams. Written design reports, including design specifications and performance predictions, must be submitted prior to the competition. At the competition, each group made an oral presentation. For a flight to be successful at the competition, the airplane must take off within 200 feet, complete at least one lap of the airfield, and land safely within 400 feet. The competition was administered by SAE and sponsored by Lockheed Martin, the producers of the F-35 Lightning joint strike fighter.

SAE Aero Design Team2

ONU fielded two airplane entries at the competition; one by a mechanical engineering capstone group and a second by students from the ONU American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) chapter. The capstone group was composed of four mechanical engineering seniors: Pat Smith of Loveland, Ohio, Eric Young of New Paris, Pa., Mike Neal of Shreve, Ohio, and Scott Underwood of Lakeville, Ohio.

The AIAA group was composed of Chris Slattery, a junior mechanical engineering student from Mount Pleasant, Pa., Amy Murray, a junior electrical engineering major from Botkins, Ohio, Melissa Turner, a junior electrical engineering major from Coldwater, Ohio, Matt Zehner, a junior mechanical engineering major from Shelby, Ohio, Cody Esbenshade, a junior mechanical engineering major from Ashland, Ohio, and Matt Smith, a sophomore mechanical engineering major from Norton, Ohio.

The faculty advisor for both groups was Dr. Jed E. Marquart, professor of mechanical engineering at ONU. Pat Smith was the pilot for both groups.