12 April 2019
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Students' aircraft designs are ‘streaks’ ahead!

Students from the Wrocław University of Science and Technology have had a winning streak with their remote-controlled aircraft designs.

The team, calling themselves JetStream, were awarded five medals at the SAE Aero Design East 2019 model aviation construction competition in the USA for, among other things, designing light aircraft to carry heavy loads on Mars.

The judges decided that the payload this year would be low-density PVC pipes. The team had to find a very strong and lightweight way to attach the payload to the aircraft and hold the pipes together. And the fixing had to be done quickly and easily.

This is where it sought the assistance of fastening and component solutions company JET PRESS. The team came up with the idea of using the company’s large Fir Tree Buttons – for securing sheet materials or board to another panel or for holding components to panels – to attach the payload to the aircraft wings, along with double-ended Fir Tree Buttons to hold the pipes together.

Urszula Golyska, a member of the student design team, explains how earlier attempts to find a similar kind of fastener on another company's website came to nothing. “We ordered a sample, but they turned out to be too loose and didn't hold the payload in place. We started to look for other options and found Fir Tree Fasteners on the JET PRESS website. We decided to approach JET PRESS and here we are now.” The buttons are said to be very light and strong, with assembly “quick and fool-proof”. JET PRESS was happy to donate double-Ended FTB086 and FTB056 Fir Tree Buttons to the student cause.

Regular participants in the event where teams design and build remote-controlled aircraft to meet ‘mission requirements’, this year the university students competed in two categories: Advanced and Micro.

Michał Ciepielski, from the university’s press office, reports: “This year, the task in the Advanced class was a simulation mission of colonising Mars. The tasks were connected with casting a load to a target and raising the heaviest possible weight with the lightest possible aircraft.”

The students took second place in the general classification in the Advanced category and second place for flights. In the Micro class, they managed third place in the general classification, third place for the technical report and another third for successful flights and the weight ratio of craft to load.

According to the event’s website: “The SAE Aero Design competition is a real‐world design challenge designed to compress a typical aircraft development programme into one calendar year, taking participants through the system engineering process of breaking down requirements. It exposes participants to the nuances of conceptual design, manufacturing, system integration/test, and sell‐off through demonstration.”

The university’s success was topped off by taking part in the KoNaR Iron Cup 2019 robot competition in Brazil. Wrocław Technical University machines competed in three categories, wining gold and silver. A further triumph was recorded in Warsaw where the university’s constructors competed in the Roboticon contest, taking another five medals in three categories: ‘MicroMouse,’ ‘MicroSumo’ and ‘LineFollower Turbo’.

The picture shown is courtesy of ‘The First News’. More information at: https://bit.ly/2P9hnxL

Brian Wall

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