Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Bradford Bruno




design, construction, aircraft, engineering


Union has participated in the annual SAE Aero Competition for the last 6 consecutive years. The aim of the competition involves the design and construction of an RC aircraft capable of carrying a maximum payload weight as consistently as possible. This report will summarize the methods used to determine shape and size of the final aircraft’s control surfaces, as well as include an analysis on the plane’s performance characteristics. The final design utilizes a 100 inch span main wing with a rear taper and an upright H-tail design. In addition, the horizontal tail has a stabilator in place of a horizontal stabilizer with elevators. This configuration was found to minimize the effects of drag and maximize performance at the anticipated Reynolds Number the plane will be flying at. Previous design iterations were proven to be inefficient after the completion of a to-scale working prototype in the middle of the project’s design process. A theoretical estimate of this plane’s maximum takeoff weight was calculated to be around 30 lbs., taking into account a 200 ft. runway with the effects of variable thrust and drag. The plane will be competing April 11-13, 2014 in Marietta, GA.