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TAKING FLIGHT STUDENT TEAMS TAKE PRIZES FOR SPECIAL PLANES.

Byline: Daily News

LANCASTER - More than 300 students representing 35 colleges and universities from the United States, Canada, Australia and Mexico converged on the Antelope Valley on June 7, 8 and 9 to participate in a heavy-lift radio-controlled airplane design and flight competition.

Aero Design West 2002 was sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers International and hosted by Lockheed Martin Corp. with the support of the Antelope Valley Tailwinds Radio-Control Aircraft Club.

``We are pleased to support this collegiate competition, which gives these students practical engineering experience in developing a competitive flying machine and the opportunity to gain valuable feedback from the experienced engineers evaluating their work,'' said David Eichstedt, Lockheed Martin project engineer and ADW 2002 contest director. ``It also gave us an opportunity to interface with a select group of highly motivated students and potential future Lockheed Martin engineers.''

This was the third year for the event. Forty-two teams were entered in the single-engine class and four teams in the multiengine/open class.

The student teams were required to design and build an original heavy lift radio-controlled aircraft, write a comprehensive design report, give an oral presentation, then fly their aircraft.

In the single-engine class, the University of Akron team members garnered first place overall with 212.93 total points for the combined written, oral and flying competition.

Their aircraft ``Voodoo'' lifted 26.4 pounds, within 0.2 of a pound of their predicted payload, and about three times the plane's empty weight. The Akron team was a repeat winner, having also captured the top award in 2001.

Ohio State University finished second with 211.56 total points and 26.6 pounds lifted, and the University of Utah finished in third place with 208.29 total points and 25.2 pounds lifted.

For the multiengine open class, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal's ``Goliath'' captured first-place honors with 391.81 total points and 76 pounds lifted. Second place went to the University of Akron ``Havoc'' team with 335.23 points and 61.2 pounds lifted.

Strict rules governed the aircraft designs, with the key constraints being engine selection (with a choice of two brands for the single-engine class), total area, payload volume, and takeoff and landing distances.

Scoring was based on the quality of the design report, oral presentation, engineering/technical inspection, and flying performance,maximum payload flown and actual versus predicted payload.

The aircraft were required to take off within 200 feet, fly at least one 360-degree turn, and land intact within 400 feet. Lockheed Martin engineers and retirees judged the written reports, oral presentations and technical inspections.

The teams initially flew June 8 with a moderate payload to first see how their aircraft would perform in the Antelope Valley's altitude and harsh weather conditions - blowing sand and winds gusting to 35 mph.

As conditions grew worse in the afternoon, the flying was halted after three rounds.

Flying was resumed June 9 under ideal conditions, organizers said.

After five rounds of flying, the top five single-engine competitors and top two multiengine competitors were then given one final opportunity.

CAPTION(S):

3 photos

Photo:

(1 -- color) The team from the University of Akron won for the single- engine class for their ``Voodoo'' airplane at Aero Design West 2002. They also won last year.

(2 -- 3 -- color) Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal's ``Goliath,'' in flight, above, and with its design team, left, won in the multiengine/open class.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 18, 2002
Words:567
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