The LiU students from the Master’s Programme in Aeronautical Engineering are happy and proud and have returned with both a trophy and new, practical experiences.
The students from the master's program in aeronautical engineering are happy for the title they got in the international competition.
“A lot of this can’t be learned in any other way. Being able to benefit from each other’s skills in the team, for example,” says Rana El Sayed.
Unexpected support from SaabFrom the beginning, it was “only” to be a course in aircraft design and in building an airworthy plane. But, thanks to the commitment of associate professor David Lundström and sponsorship from Saab, the students were given the opportunity to participate in the SAE Aero Design competition in Brazil.
Students at the competition airport. Students on the runway before the competition.
Students on the runway, before the competition. The competition consisted of over 80 teams competing in three different classes and a total of about 1,500 students. The LiU team filmed a test flight in Norrköping, was admitted to the competition and suddenly things became urgent.
“We built the most crucial parts in just one weekend. And to get into the advanced competition class, we had to have a lot of electronics and a camera on board,” says Natalia Zalewska.
Some teams crashedOther requirements were to have a camera on board and that water could be released from the aircraft in a controlled way. Four drinking bottles were placed under the wings. There was also a requirement that a QR code should be scanned to determine which bottles would be emptied automatically.
“In the competition, only us and the winning team managed it. And we managed to drop the water so that it drifted in over the judging booth!”
"We only hadSome teams crashed, and even the LiU team suffered misfortune. Among other things, a wing broke when the plane hit a pole on landing after the first flight.
Assembling a small aircraft at LiU. Photo credit Ulrik Svedin “We also had problems with an engine that couldn’t handle the Brazilian heat and caught fire. And we only had one engine with us! But, we borrowed one from another team. A very nice gesture. A bit unexpected too, but it shows what a good atmosphere there was. Afterwards, when we’d won second prize, we were treated like rock stars by the other teams,” says Cezar-Victor Borugă.
Forming an associationDavid Lundström, scientist and teacher at LiU. Researchers by the remote-controlled aircraft. David Lundström, associate professor. Now both the students and the Aero programme are intent on forming an association to build a competitive tradition with aircraft.
The inspiration is LiU Formula Student, which has been around for many years. It is a student association that develops and designs a racing car every year to compete against universities from all over the world.
“We have formed the association and the students who were in this year’s SAE Aero Design can contribute their experiences to next year’s team. We think this will be a great addition to the programme. It will be an incentive for Aero students. And it gives both inspiration and practical experience,” says associate professor David Lundström.