Posted: July 06, 2012
By Kari Fox
A team of 11 aerospace engineering seniors placed first in a year-long competition hosted by the Advanced Propulsion Outreach Program in the Propulsion Directorate of Air Force Research Lab at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The competition required students to design a Thrust Vectoring Device for a JetCat P-80 Engine.
Professor Jeffrey Bons, faculty advisor, said the team was formed during fall quarter. Planning and designing started right away, but the building part didn’t kick in until spring.
“Students are always a little reluctant to start with the design,” says Bons. “I kept encouraging them to ‘just start building.’ Sometimes it’s helpful to just roll up your sleeves and start.”
The team created two operational devices and had a third
prototype. All devices in competition were officially tested at
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in May. Team leader Christine
White reported that the group built everything in Scott Lab's
student machine shop and printed 3-D prototypes with the help of
the faculty research machine shop.
Other schools competing included the University of Michigan, Miami University, University of Cincinnati, University of Dayton, and Wright State University. Ohio State had the largest team in competition with students who specialized in computational fluid dynamics, solid modeling, engine operations, machining/manufacturing, and device operations.
Bons described the team as motivated and enthusiastic.
“They quickly decided on Christine White to be the team leader and she did an excellent job keeping them on-task and engaged,” he said.
With such a large, talented group of seniors, the team was deemed the overall winner on the competition having placed first in slew rate, second in the paper competition, and third in performance (hitting max vectoring angles around 37 degrees while only experiencing a 15 percent thrust loss).
Bons said the team was “thrilled” when they heard the results.
“Last time we lost a close competition to Michigan,” he says. “It it was nice to return the favor this year."
Kari Fox is a student communications assistant with the College of Engineering