P16121: SAE Aero Aircraft Design & Build


Project Summary Project Information

The SAE Aero Design competition is an event that challenges engineering students through the design, build, and test of an aircraft. While complying with the rules of the competition specifying design requirements and constraints, as well as mission requirements, university teams are tasked with applying engineering principles and theory in the form of trade-studies to generate a design solution that outperforms other university teams.

There are three classes of competition: The Regular, Advanced, and Micro classes. The Regular class is intended for novices, with the goal being the design and fabrication of an aircraft that can perform controlled flight and execute mission requirements, ultimately while carrying a higher payload than other teams. Additional scoring is also awarded to teams that can accurately predict the payload that their aircraft can lift.

Although RIT has an Aero Design Club that is supposed to participate in the event, it has been absent from the competition since 2008. Prior to 2008, RIT has been inconsistent in participating in the competition annually. This is partly due to the inexperience of the team, the lack of commitment to the project as students are on co-op for parts of the year, and the lack of funding needed to travel and enter the competition. Therefore, to build competence within the Aero Design Club, an MSD team is established to design, build, and test an aircraft conforming to the SAE Aero Rules, with the intent of sharing all knowledge used and gained while completing the project to the club.

Click here for the SAE Aero Regular Class Rules

The project readiness package initiating this project can be viewed by clicking the following link: P16121 PRP

Project Name
SAE Aero Aircraft Design & Build
Project Number
Project Family
Aerospace Systems
Start Term
Fall 2015
End Term
Spring 2016
Faculty Guide
Dr. Jason Kolodziej, jrkeme@rit.edu
Primary Customer
SAE Aero Competition
Sponsor (financial support)

Website Description

This website documents the senior design journey of team P16121. Each page contains a snapshot of the project at the end of each phase. In many cases certain items will make appearances in more than one phase. In these cases the most recent revision is the working copy but the previous appearances are left unchanged as a way of documenting the state of the project at that point in time.

Team Members

Team at the beginning of MSD I

Team at the beginning of MSD I

Team at the end of MSD II with their aircraft

Team at the end of MSD II with their aircraft

Member Technical Role Team Role Contact
Christopher Jones Structural Design, Materials Selection Procurement cmj9173@rit.edu
Matthew Zielinski Structural Design, Electrical and Propulsion Systems General Support mlz9965@rit.edu
Ron Manning Structural Design, CAD Public Relations rmm2076@rit.edu
Dom Myren Structural Design, Project Management, Aerodynamics & Stability & Stress Analysis Support Project Manager dmm7695@rit.edu
Marc Protacio Aircraft Configuration, Stability&Control, Aerodynamics/CFD, Stress/FEA Team Leader mmp1854@rit.edu

Table of Contents


Project Management

Project Photos and Videos

Imagine RIT

Problem Definition

Systems Design

Subsystem Design

Preliminary Detailed Design

Detailed Design

Build & Test Prep

Subsystem Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test

Integrated System Build & Test with Customer Demo

Customer Handoff & Final Project Documentation


Thank you!:

1. RIT MSD program for providing funding and an opportunity to complete this project

2. Dr. Kolodziej for project completion guidance

3. Professor Wellin for essential component donations

4. RIT Aero Design Club for manufacturing advice

5. Dr. Venkataraman for aircraft design input