Faculty Advisor

Demetriou, Michael A.

Faculty Advisor

Johari, Hamid

Faculty Advisor

Olinger, David J.


This project involved the design, analysis and fabrication of a radio-controlled aircraft to compete in the Society of Automotive Engineer's Aero Design East Aircraft Competition. The goal of this competition is to carry a minimum payload weight given certain design constraints. Analytical studies focused on decreasing drag, increasing the stability and structural strength of the aircraft, and optimizing the aerodynamic efficiency of the wing. Wind tunnel tests were conducted to determine the performance of both the propeller and airfoil. Analysis of the center of gravity of the aircraft was accomplished using a Pro/Engineer model. Improved fabrication techniques utilized lightweight carbon composites and fiberglass materials to produce a structurally sound aircraft. The final design of the aircraft incorporated an optimized 11.7 aspect ratio wing with ailerons, a conventional tail, a tricycle landing gear, and a 12 inch x 6 degree, two bladed propeller. Several flight tests allowed the team to identify problems and make improvements to the design before the actual competition took place.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2000


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering