The SAE Aero Design competition is designed to provide engineering students with a real-life engineering challenge in the aerospace field. The competition revolves around exposing students to the situations engineering professionals face in the typical work environment. Within this competition, our members find themselves performing trade studies and holding design reviews to create a design which both meets competition criteria and excels in the scoring rubric.

The three scoring criteria are based upon the team’s performance in the design report, presentation and flight score. The design report is intended to help students develop strong technical writing skills. The presentation promotes the development of good verbal and written communication skills. Combined these categories make up 2/3 of the overall score and are designed to help teach the importance of interpersonal skills which are commonly overlooked by students and new graduates in an engineering workplace.

SAE Aero Design features three classes for competition: Micro, Regular and Advanced class. Our team participates mostly with the regular class. The objective of the regular class is to maximize payload. As a heavy lift class, the biggest design considerations are made around building a light plane that simultaneously can consistently lift a large payload around a flight track. This class restricts the use of composite materials and combustion motors, making this a challenging and thought-provoking design project.