Aerospace & Mechanical
Engineering

AeroDesign Team 2015 Design/Build/Fly Competition

AeroDesign Team 2015 at D/B/F competition
USC AeroDesign Team 2015.

The 2015 AIAA Design/Build/Fly Competition was held this past weekend, April 11-12, in Tucson, AZ where USC placed 17th out of approximately 80 teams. Attached are a couple photos of this year's plane (SCnoopy) and the team. This was a hot and windy event which provided a large number of top competitors, much more than usual. The competition was won by the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia), primarily for their impressively fast payload loading time of just under 9 seconds.

This year's AeroDesign Team has much to be proud of! Their written report was 2nd overall with a score of 94.5/100. Further, USC was the only team in the field that attempted and successfully flew a servo cam mechanism that actuated all controls (rudder, elevator, and payload deployment); our total servo count was 2 which included an electronic speed controller for the motor. To our knowledge, MIT was the only other school to attempt a similar mechanism but could not get the device working before competition. Every other university team flew with 3 (or more) servos.

AeroDesign Team's entry, SCnoopy.
USC AeroDesign's airplane, SCnoopy.

Implementing the servo cam mechanism for controls was a very impressive accomplishment. The USC plane drew interest from every other competitor; many pictures were taken and it was often difficult to handle the many questions received when the team was preparing to fly.

Also worth noting was the number of teams that replicated USC's winning construction technique from the previous year. The team's fuselage was a Kevlar skin and foam truss composite structure, and about 10% of this year's field showed up with a similar construction. With that, the servo cam mechanism, and the report it was great to see our students receive so much admiration and respect for the hard work they put into aircraft design.

—CAR