AeroHawks Strong in Student Aircraft & Propulsion Design Competitions
When Jan Roskam retired in 2007, the conventional wisdom was that the Aerospace Engineering “dynasty” in American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) aircraft design competitions would end. Not so.
In 2009, under the guidance of faculty advisor and Associate Professor Ron Barrett-Gonzales, KUAE students scored the top two scores in the 2009 AIAA Individual Aircraft Design Competition. Then, in 2010, three KUAE seniors swept the completion, taking 1st through 3rd awards. This was the 1st time in the 41 year history of the AIAA Aircraft Design competitions that any school has swept the awards.
Now, a new dynasty seems to be emerging in propulsion design competitions. In 2009, Professor Saeed Farokhi’s teams earned 1st and 2nd place finishes in the AIAA Undergraduate Team Propulsion Design Competition. This was the first, first-place finish in KU for propulsion design.
AIAA Individual Aircraft Design
The highest two scores in the 2009 AIAA Individual Aircraft Design went to now-doctoral candidates, Emily Arnold and Leslie Smith. In that competition, the goal was to design a light sport aircraft, or LSA.
Emily Arnold’s winning LSA, the Cooper Leslie Smith's winning LSA, the Sylph LSA
The 2010 competition was to design a transonic business jet. The winning KUAE seniors, who swept the competition, were Lauren Fitzpatrick (1st), Sarah Kulhanek (2nd) and Chris Vaughn (3rd).
Lauren Fitzpatrick’s Air Fitz
Sarah Kulhanek’s Wrigley Chris Vaughn’s Modern Pioneer
Most recently, Nathan Roush won third place in the 2011 AIAA Individual Aircraft Design.
Team Propulsion Design
The goal for the 2009 AIAA Team Propulsion Design Competition was to design an advanced variable cycle turbofan engine for subsonic transport applications. The 1st place award went to the team of Jake Bowden, Kodi Caster, Travis Cravens and Adam Saverino for the engine, “JACKT-524”, shown below, left. The 2nd place award went to Will Pflug (Lead), Matt Brown, Piyush Mehta, Thai Nguyen, Leslie Smith and Lake Wooten, below, right.
More recently, in the 2011 competition, team members Andrew Wendorff (Lead), Kyle Brehm, Orlando Delpino, John Pheatt, Kevin Morgan, Jacob Lynn, Han Shen and Aaron Mickelson brought home 1st place with their high bypass turbofan, shown below.
HawkFan-LG, high bypass turbofan