Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Bradford Bruno




aero design, plane, model, radio control, construction


The Union College Flying Dutchmen Team aims to compete in the spring 2011, SAE Aero Design® East Competition. This regional event, hosted by the Society of Automotive Engineers International, is a threefold opportunity for teams from around the globe to showcase their understanding of engineering fundamentals. Competing in the SAE Aero Design® competition creates an arena for students to participate in hands-on design, to emphasize technological innovations in a competition setting, and to cooperate in a unique atmosphere where intellectual advancement and teamwork are championed above success. The underlying goal of the SAE Aero Design® competition is to design and construct a high lift plane, capable of carrying upwards of fifty-five pounds. In order to achieve this objective, the 2011 Flying Dutchmen aimed to design a plane with structural integrity, positive static stability and high lift generating aerodynamics. Furthermore, the team took extensive measures to minimize the overall weight of the aircraft yet maintain the critical structural strength required to lift such a payload. In addition to these characteristics, the Flying Dutchmen utilized the design requirements of the competition in order to ensure safety and regulation compliance with power and size constraints. This year’s Flying Dutchmen Team, consisted of three senior mechanical engineering students. Andrew Heitmann, Timothy McGovern, and I each had a specific and fully defined responsibly prior to construction and maintained individual analytical specialties throughout the design process. In order to optimize the strength to weight ratio, the team completed extensive technical investigations in the areas of aerodynamics, structural integrity, and aircraft stability. While sufficient data existed to analyze full-scale airplanes, there were several considerable differences that needed to be considered before designing a radio controlled (R/C) model plane.