Momentum - March 2020 - 11

STUDENT
GENERATION

Ningxia University Aeromodelling Team being honored at the SAE Aero Design East
2019 awards ceremony for first place in Mission Performance and first place Overall.

Team members await their turn to put the Aeromodelling plane in
the air.

of calculation and analysis, we used carbon-fiber, light wood, PMI,
heat shrink skin, and other materials, among which the carbon fiber
accounted for as much as 72%. Especially in the fuselage structure,
the sandwich structure of carbon fiber-PMI-carbon fiber was adopted,
which successfully reduced the empty weight and resistance of the
aircraft and increased the wingspan of the aircraft.
In order to make better use of the limited packing space and
reduce the model flying resistance, the airfoil was also improved.
When evaluating the first generation of the aircraft, comprehensively
observations are made via GPS, anemometer, power meter, and
other equipment.
One aspect of the competition requires teams to quickly assemble
and disassemble the airplane. To this end, we adopted various quickassembly and quick-disassembly techniques. For example, we used
carbon-fiber as a bolt to maintain the connection strength between
the wing's outer and middle segments. And we added a magnet as a
secondary bolt, which prevented torsion between the wing segments.
In the Technical Presentation event, the judges gave high praise to the
design of the magnet connector and awarded us extra points.
After several iterations, the final aircraft was a model with a wingspan
of 4.6 feet and length of 3.28 feet. The layout was single wing, double
vertical tail, and single engine. The payload consisted of five PVC pipes.

second during take-off. Despite that, we occupied the
top of the scoreboard after Round #1 and were off to a
good start.
In the second round, the model encountered a sudden
crosswind during landing, causing the aircraft to blow
over and the carbon fiber tube in the front fuselage to
break. Using their wits, team members sawed off the
front fuselage of the spare machine with their fastest
speed and binded it, using kevlar and epoxy resin, to the
racing machine.
By the time the judges approved the restored model,
the fourth flight round had already started. The whole
team was excited to put our plane into the air again. That
fourth flighted round ended being the last of the day, and
we found ourselves at the top of the standings. But the
Georgia Tech team did well. That meant that the second
day of flying would be decisive.
In the final day's first flight round, the fifth overall,
Georgia Tech loaded full weight while our team loaded
85%. In that round, the score gap was narrowed to just
3 points. Before the final round, we found that we could
finish in second place even if our flight failed, so we
decided to go for it and added full load to the model.
The move paid off, and we ended up finishing first in
Mission Performance. Because that event is weighted
more heavily than the others, our score in the Mission
Performance event propelled us to first place overall for
the competition.

TO THE U.S. WITH VICTORY IN MIND
On March 5, team members arrived at the competition venue after ten
hours of flying. On March 8, the first day of the three-day competition,
we earned a score of 46 points (out of a possible 50) in the Technical
Presentation and 15.49 in the Assembly Demonstration (second best
among all teams). It was a great encouragement for all of us.
On March 9, the teams' airplanes took to the skies for the Mission
Performance part of the competition, which usually involves about a
half dozen flight rounds. Our team successfully completed the first flight
with 60% of the maximum load under the circumstances of unstable
wind direction and unexpected positive crosswind of 6 meters per

MOMENTUM

2003_SG_4-11.indd 11

This article was written for MOMENTUM by Hongbo
Zhang. She is faculty advisor for Ningxia University's
Aeromodelling Team that competed at the SAE Aero
Design competition in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2019.

March 2020 11

2/17/20 11:10 AM



Momentum - March 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - March 2020

Momentum - March 2020
Contents
Building a career in mobility
BENEFITS U
Making sense on sensors
Victory at last
Keeping it light
BRIEFS
GM’s Cruise self-driving vehicle built for upgradable hardware
New seal improves performance
SAE 101: personal and financial well-being, SAE style
SAE 101: personal and financial well-being, SAE style
Dossier: Noah Lukins of May Mobility
Occupational benefits of competing in technical collegiate competitions
Momentum - March 2020 - Momentum - March 2020
Momentum - March 2020 - Cover2
Momentum - March 2020 - Contents
Momentum - March 2020 - Building a career in mobility
Momentum - March 2020 - BENEFITS U
Momentum - March 2020 - Making sense on sensors
Momentum - March 2020 - 5
Momentum - March 2020 - 6
Momentum - March 2020 - Victory at last
Momentum - March 2020 - 8
Momentum - March 2020 - 9
Momentum - March 2020 - Keeping it light
Momentum - March 2020 - 11
Momentum - March 2020 - BRIEFS
Momentum - March 2020 - 13
Momentum - March 2020 - GM’s Cruise self-driving vehicle built for upgradable hardware
Momentum - March 2020 - New seal improves performance
Momentum - March 2020 - SAE 101: personal and financial well-being, SAE style
Momentum - March 2020 - SAE 101: personal and financial well-being, SAE style
Momentum - March 2020 - Dossier: Noah Lukins of May Mobility
Momentum - March 2020 - 19
Momentum - March 2020 - Occupational benefits of competing in technical collegiate competitions
Momentum - March 2020 - Cover3
Momentum - March 2020 - Cover4
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