Momentum - April 2020 - 13


Golden Wings master shape.

CFD simulations on the master shape.

To develop the master shape, the sub-teams used decision matrices
to identify fuselage shape, wing placement, tail design, landing gear
configuration, and payload accessibility.
To address the center of gravity, the fuselage sub-team developed a
moment calculator (balance sheet) to determine the placement of vital
components in the plane, such as the motor, electronic speed controller,
flight battery, servos, soccer ball, and cargo plates. This calculator was
also helpful in determining the fuselage length and wing placement.
Simultaneously, the propulsions and wing dynamics teams performed
many calculations and CFD simulations to analyze different airfoils from
the NACA's national database and make a selection that best suited the
team's objective. We used the data collected to make other decisions,
such as wingspan, wing chord, wing thickness, and the shape of the
wing in general.
As a senior and fabrication lead, I knew that our past manufacturing
difficulties were because we never developed a detailed CAD model.
As a result, we were left with the dual problems of vague blueprints
to build from and tolerance issues. This year, we worked hard to
address these issues. At least 70+ grueling hours were spent in
SolidWorks creating a sophisticated assembly referencing hundreds of
components-all referencing the master model so that making changes
could be done with ease.
Based on the assumed data and design parameters, a series
of calculations was performed. Using the results, the propulsion
team selected an electric motor and propeller combination they
believed would enable the plane to lift off in approximately 80 feet.
To verify their calculations, the senior sub-teams road-tripped from
Beckley, W.Va., to our big brother school, West Virginia University in
Morgantown, to perform dynamic propulsion and flow testing at the
school's environmental wind tunnel.
This left the team in the building phase as we headed into Christmas
break. With more testing anticipated right after the break in January,
propulsion and flight dynamics sub-team leader Maria Gonzalez said,
"Our team plans to do the first round of flight testing the first week back
to classes after break ends. It should be exciting yet nerve-racking, but
we are eager to see if all of our hard work up to this point is paying off."
Moving forward, the team was to heavily focus on completing the
build and getting the plane in the air. However, we are not neglecting our
Design Report and Presentation, which are two major scoring events at
SAE Aero Design competitions. As I wrote this article in December 2019,
we were beginning to shift our focus toward these important areas.
Being the SAE Aero Design Team Captain, a Student Government
Association Senator, a member of the Engineering Dean Selection
Committee, and Machine Shops Lab Instructor, I am often asked if it

2004_SG_4-13.indd 13

CAD model of proposed fuselage.

Wind tunnel testing.
is challenging to balance schoolwork with all my other
responsibilities. My answer to that is "yes." Oftentimes,
it becomes very difficult to balance my senior workload
with the SAE Aero Design project. This club requires
many hours of dedication and hard work to be
successful. Especially being team captain, it requires
much more than design and build. It also requires many
behind-the-scenes activities, as well as things such as
budgeting, meeting planning, parts ordering, outreach,
and organization. These responsibilities are on top of 20
plus credit hours of classes.
However, I chose to do this because of the skills I
learn that I could never receive from the classroom.
Not only do I get to apply the design and theory that is
taught time and time again in the classroom, but I also
get to apply project management skills, manufacturing
techniques, and experience in how to manage teams and
individuals. These are skills that I feel will let me hit the
ground running whenever I begin work in the industry.
I've already received benefit from being in this club from
my experiences in my internship over the 2019 summer.
Being able to perform CFD simulations on aircraft landed
myself a full-time position at the Robert C. Byrd Institute
of Technology and Advanced Manufacturing center upon
completion of my degree in the spring of 2020.
This article was written for MOMENTUM by Morgan
Smith, captain of the West Virginia University Institute
of Technology SAE Aero Design team. He is a senior
majoring in mechanical engineering.

April 2020 13

3/19/20 11:25 AM


Momentum - April 2020

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

Momentum - April 2020
Start a new SAE Chapter in your life
Focused on design
Taking the classroom to the racetrack
Great moments happen due to the work of many
ONE-ON-ONE – Emily Kerr
Sticking to the schedule
GM deploying electricals of the future in new architecture
Myers Awards winners named
SAE 101: Industry Leadership Award
Dossier: Justin Lange of John Deere
Focusing on the ‘E’ in STEM
Momentum - April 2020 - Momentum - April 2020
Momentum - April 2020 - Cover2
Momentum - April 2020 - 1
Momentum - April 2020 - Start a new SAE Chapter in your life
Momentum - April 2020 - BENEFITS U
Momentum - April 2020 - Focused on design
Momentum - April 2020 - 5
Momentum - April 2020 - 6
Momentum - April 2020 - Taking the classroom to the racetrack
Momentum - April 2020 - 8
Momentum - April 2020 - Great moments happen due to the work of many
Momentum - April 2020 - ONE-ON-ONE – Emily Kerr
Momentum - April 2020 - 11
Momentum - April 2020 - Sticking to the schedule
Momentum - April 2020 - 13
Momentum - April 2020 - BRIEFS
Momentum - April 2020 - GM deploying electricals of the future in new architecture
Momentum - April 2020 - Myers Awards winners named
Momentum - April 2020 - SAE 101: Industry Leadership Award
Momentum - April 2020 - Dossier: Justin Lange of John Deere
Momentum - April 2020 - 19
Momentum - April 2020 - Focusing on the ‘E’ in STEM
Momentum - April 2020 - Cover3
Momentum - April 2020 - Cover4