P16121: SAE Aero Aircraft Design & Build
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Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation

Table of Contents

Team Vision for Final Demo and Handoff

Towards the end of the previous phase we experienced a serious setback in the form of a crash during the flight test. This phase was dominated by a substantial rebuild of the aircraft, restoring it to flight status in two weeks after replacing the fuselage and tail boom and making substantial repairs to all other subsystems.

A second flight test occurred on May 12th. This also resulted in a crash. Experiments and video evidence suggest that this is due to a loss of connection between the transmitter and receiver due to range. If that occurs power is cut to the motor and without thrust the aircraft cannot maintain lift. This explains both crashes well and is supported by range tests on the field post crash and by documentation found online suggesting a maximum range that is disappointingly short.

Test Results Summary

Both of our test flights have resulted in crashes. This has prevented us from performing adequate testing of all the engineering requirements. For this reason, we have left several items inconclusive on our testing report. Prior to the crashes the aircraft was performing well in both flights and we strongly believe that the testing requirements would have been met, but do not have the time or resources to repair and test again.

Performance vs. Requirements Assessment

This document (.xlsx) contains our final assessment of our engineering requirements vs. our results and customer requirements.
Customer Requirements

Customer Requirements

Engineering Requirements

Engineering Requirements

Constraints

Constraints

Flight Test Recordings

Accompanying it we have several videos of the flight tests. The links below will download the videos in the formats specified if you right click on the link and choose save as. For unknown reasons the online player doesn't work all the time.

Pre flight control test (.mp4)

Before the first crash: Hop test (.mp4) and flight test (.mp4) (.mov)

After repairs: Hop test (.mpg) and flight test (.mpg)

Second Flight Wreckage

Wreckage

Wreckage

Wreckage

Wreckage

Wreckage

Wreckage

Wreckage

Wreckage

Risk and Problem Tracking

Risk Tracking

We were affected by an unexpected and unmitigated risk. Unfortunately, this risk was in an area so far outside of our areas of expertise and experience that we were caught completely unaware by it. Should we have been aware of the possibility of this type of failure a mitigation plan would have been an easy one to produce. This has been reflected on the most recent update of our risk tracking document. All other risks have been adequately controlled. The risk tracking document is downloadable here as a .xlsx

Determining the cause of Flight Failures

After communicating with several hobbyists present during the second crash, we became aware of range limits on the receivers. A receiver failure would adequately explain the sequence of events in both failures. We embarked on a Short Test to determine if this may be the case, and determined that it is extremely likely. The receiver demonstrates a range of approximately 85 feet, which is substantially too low for the needs of a flight like the ones we attempted.

Final Project Documentation

Technical Paper

Technical Paper

Imagine RIT Poster

Imagine RIT Poster

CAD Models

CAD Model. It is recommended to download the entire Solidworks directory or use the step file located in the STEP directory.

Bill of Materials

Bill of Materials
Summary of final costs

Summary of final costs

Plans for Wrap-up

The aircraft, being mostly wreckage, has been disposed of. Electronics and undamaged components have been stored in the cabinet in the Aero Design Club room. We have undertaken a plan of late testing to verify the cause of the crashes as being related to the transmitter and receiver. Edits to the technical paper have been made to cover those results.

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