Spectrum - Volume 17 Issue 14 December 1, 1994 - Students win aircraft award

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Students win aircraft award

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 14 - December 1, 1994

For the fifth year in a row, a team of Virginia Tech Aerospace and Ocean Engineering (AOE) undergraduates have won the top award in the national Student Aircraft Design Competition sponsored by the Lockheed Corp. and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

In fact, Virginia Tech students took three of the five awards presented in the 1993-94 contest--first and third places and an honorable mention.

To compete in the annual contest, students respond to a request for proposals (RFP) developed by a team of aircraft-industry designers. In this year's contest, the undergraduates had to design a Boeing 737-type airplane capable of carrying more passengers longer distances and at lower rates than the actual commercial plane.

The industry designer team developed the RFP after United Airlines decided to purchase the European-made Airbus A-320 in place of Boeing 737s. Boeing has announced that it is designing a new 737--that can carry more passengers longer distances at lower rates.

The first place Virginia Tech team was led by Chris Potter of Woodbridge. John Pierson of Indianapolis, Indiana, captained the third place team, and Greg Imhoff of Lorton led the team winning honorable mention. All team leaders were AOE seniors. AOE faculty members William N. Mason and Nathan Kirschbaum were the teams' advisors.

Virginia Tech AOE undergraduates also won first and second places in the 1993-94 Ship Design Competition sponsored by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, and third place in the AIAA Team Spacecraft Design Competition.