On Thursday April 9th Fourth year Aeronautical Engineering students of the University of Limerick, conducted flight tests of models aircraft, which were designed to carry sensors and drop payload onto a target. Two teams of students designed and constructed remotely-controlled subscale aircraft, to meet a defined specifications. There were two main missions that had to be achieved. Two separate challenges had to be demonstrated. The first required the aircraft to carry a 2.3 kg package that simulated airborne sensors, and the second required the aircraft to drop a payload (9 cm diameter plastic balls) onto a target on the ground. R/C (radio-controlled) pilot William Gaule (Limerick) took the aeroplanes through the ground and flight test programme today, with both aircraft completing key tasks.
Dr Trevor Young, Senior Lecturer in Aeronautical Engineering, from the Department of Mechanical, Aeronautical and Biomedical Engineering and MSSI said "This challenge requires our students to design, build and fly complex air vehicles designed to a demanding set of requirements. The students need to use the knowledge and engineering skills acquired over the entire engineering programme to create an aircraft that is strong enough to support the loads, yet light enough to fly with small electric motors. Good teamwork and good project management are essential ingredients for success. These attributes are highly valued in industry, but are often ignored in engineering courses.”
Aeronautical Engineering student and Leader of Green Team, Alan Casey (Beaumont, Dublin) said 'The DBF (Design/Build/Fly) is an amazing experience. This project tested my team's knowledge, creativity and also our ability to work with each other in the cohesive manner required to complete a challenging project. The excellent facilities at UL allowed us to use the very latest in CAD, composite manufacturing and 3D printing technologies for the design and build of our plane the "Green Goblin". The excellent technical staff were always on hand for help when needed. I am so lucky and proud to have a led such a passionate and talented team. We will always treasure this experience as we progress in our careers."
UL offers the only Bachelor of Engineering in Aeronautical Engineering programme in the Republic of Ireland, and has developed strong links with many of the world’s leading aerospace companies, including Airbus, Boeing and Bombardier Aerospace.