On a misty October morning, we meet 29 students gathered on an airfield outside Linköping. Together with teacher David Lundström, they are here to test the planes they have built. Some students have been working up to the last minute, fine-tuning their model far into the night. We can feel excitement and nervousness in the air.
Prototype Realization is a project-based course during which master’s students are tasked with building a remote-controlled prototype of an aircraft. It is a direct continuation of a course in Aircraft Conceptual Design in which they carried out the fundamental design and analysis of their craft.
David Lundström is course supervisor and describes how the course links theory and practical work.
“It’s one thing to draw up a conceptual design that looks good on the drawing board. It’s much more challenging to get it to fly. Our students find this out for themselves on this course.”
The students received seven weeks and around 2000 Swedish kronor to build the aircraft. Working under restrictions of both time and money is useful training for their future careers as engineers. The students also learn about working with modern prototyping tools, such as 3D printing, CNC machining and laser cutting.