Our engineering and design team is split into 7 groups that focus on the research, modelling, design, testing and manufacturing of different aircraft sections. These teams include the wings, stability, fuselage, propulsion, landing gear, materials and manufacturing, and software teams. (The materials and software teams are integrated into the other groups). We also have a business subteam that works on club finance and budgeting, and is open to business and engineering students.
Each team exposes students to different skills and allows engineering and/or business students to apply their knowledge to challenging and engaging projects. All members will be given every opportunity to participate in the manufacturing of the plane, allowing everyone to see their projects and hard work come to life.
The wings team analyzes and designs the main source of lift for the aircraft. A member of this team would learn and apply basic and advanced aerodynamic and structural design concepts to create a wing design which is light, strong and generates the greatest amount of lift for our aircraft. Students will learn to use different design software such as XFLR5, Solidworks and MATLAB to create and perform aerodynamic and structural models and testing.
The stability team optimizes the tail structure and control surfaces that allow a plane to turn, pitch, yaw and achieve steady flight. A member of this team would learn to apply basic and advanced aerodynamic principles and perform calculations. This team also allows for the learning of the 6 stability modes which control the quality of flight for the aircraft. Students will learn to use different design software such as XFLR5, Solidworks and MATLAB to create and perform aerodynamic and structural models and testing.
The fuselage team mainly works with the structural side of designing the airframe and works closely with many other subteams to ensure that everything will fit together well. A member of this team would apply their knowledge of materials, static and dynamic loading, and stress to create a lightweight and strong fuselage. This team exposes our members to extensive use of CAD software and FEA analysis for designing. Members can expect to perform analytical and numerical analysis on the fuselage structure, particularly key connection points.
The Landing Gear team designs and analyzes the main and nose gears for the aircraft. Members of this team will conduct numerical stress tests on their designs, and will also perform destructive testing on the final model to ensure its reliability and strength. They will also work with the fuselage team to ensure the fuselage will endure the shock of landing. Members also get a chance to use CAD software and FEA analysis for designing a strong landing gear system.
The Propulsion team analytically estimates the thrust generated by potential propellers for our plane, and then experimentally tests the best candidate(s). The propulsion team is tasked with performing all propulsion calculations and testing of our materials, designs, and equipment to ensure accuracy of our FEA and XFLR5 models. This team provides a balance of both hands-on work related to testing and analytical work involving calculations, research and modeling.
Materials and Manufacturing Team
The materials and manufacturing team is largely self-directed and conducts research and testing for new and improved technologies and materials for the plane. Members of this team are active in the manufacturing workshops testing and building various plane parts. The team also analyzes and compares costs, availability, production and other such characteristics for researched materials and technologies that may be used in future designs. Objectives of research may be to increase strength, reduce weight, or cut costs.
Currently, the software team is working on an automation of our primary aerodynamic analysis tool, XFLR5, using python and open-source python modules. This project is planned to lead into a full optimization algorithm, piggybacking on the automation framework currently being developed. Members of the software team actively work and communicate with all other subteams excluding materials and manufacturing.