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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics


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    CONTACT: John Blacksten



    AIAA Foundation Announces Winner of its Individual
    Undergraduate Aircraft Design Competition

    October 16, 2015 – Reston, Va. – Arthur Brown, a student at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has won the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation’s Undergraduate Individual Aircraft Design Competition. He will receive a prize of $500.00.

    This year’s competition asked contestants to submit a design for a very long range uninhabited strike vehicle that could fly autonomously for 1,000 nautical miles or more, drop 4,000 pounds of bombs on a predesignated target and then return to base.

    “The particularly challenging aspect of this design problem was the extreme range, which required a very high fuel fraction,” said Steve Brandt, professor, Department of Aeronautics, United States Air Force Academy. “As a result, students couldn’t simply find an existing aircraft with similar characteristics to use in sizing this new design. They were required to model the design mission and the aircraft empty weight fraction, then size the aircraft so that it met the required mission radius. The student who did this most accurately concluded that the aircraft weight would likely need to be over 100,000 pounds, which was correct.” Brandt concluded, “Brown was tenacious in making sure his design ‘closed.’ He made an initial prediction of size based on historical data, concluded that it would not meet the mission requirements, and then went through two more complete sizing iterations until he arrived at a solution that worked. This is very commendable and demonstrates the commitment to quality engineering work that AIAA wants to promote in new engineers.”

    For more information on the AIAA Foundation Undergraduate Individual Aircraft Design Competition, please contact Rachel Dowdy at 703.264.7577 or

    About the AIAA Foundation
    The AIAA Foundation seeks to “make it exciting, make it empowering, and make it fun.” That simple, compelling philosophy drives the Foundation’s commitment to math, science, and technology education. The AIAA Foundation offers a wealth of resources to support educators from K–12 through the university level: scholarships, classroom grants, design competitions, and student conferences, improving scientific literacy and advancing the arts and sciences of aerospace. For more information on the AIAA Foundation and its programs for students, teachers, and professionals, please visit



    About AIAA
    AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and 95 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit



    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 500, Reston, VA 20191-4344
    Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551