Dwayne Brown Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1726) Keith Henry Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA (Phone

: 757/864-6120) Les Dorr FAA Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/267-8521)

August 1, 1997

Mary Sandy Virginia Space Grant Consortium, Hampton, VA (Phone: 757/865-0726) RELEASE: 97-164 NASA AND FAA ANNOUNCE AVIATION DESIGN COMPETITION WINNERS Winners of the 1997 National General Aviation Design Competition were named by NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration today. The competition, which is in its third year, allows university students to participate in a major national effort to rebuild the U.S. general aviation sector. NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin and FAA Acting Administrator Barry Valentine presented the awards in a ceremony at the Experimental Aircraft Association's Annual Convention and Fly-In at Oshkosh, WI. For the purpose of the contest, general aviation aircraft are defined as single-pilot, fixed-wing, single-engine, propeller-driven aircraft for two to six passengers. Teams of undergraduate and graduate students from U.S. engineering schools work with faculty advisors to address design challenges for a small aircraft transportation system. The competition seeks to raise student awareness of the value of general aviation for business and personal use, while promoting an understanding of its economic relevance. NASA and the FAA believe that this kind of competition serves to stimulate breakthroughs in technology and their application in the general aviation market.

The national goal for revitalizing the industry presents excellent, open-ended design challenges that stimulate engineering students and provide the basis for a quality, real-world educational experience. Teams were asked to address design challenges in one or more of the following technical areas: Integrated cockpit systems; propulsion; noise and emissions; integrated design and manufacturing; aerodynamics; operating infrastructure; and new designs such as air-cars. Students may consider designs for an entire aircraft or for a system or subsystem. The first place award was presented to a student team from the University of Kansas, Wichita State University, and Kansas State University. The teamÕs design offers a four-passenger, kit plane "for the pilot with limited resources." The design claims payload, range, cruise velocity, take-off and landing field lengths, rate of climb, and handling qualities comparable to a Cessna 172R for about half the cost, or $75,000. The team calls its aircraft "Adagio" in honor of its potential for graceful flight reminiscent of the adagio musical movement of a symphony. The design uses a Zoche AeroDiesel Engine Z0 02A and features an unusual, inverted "V" tail. The team believes that its design can be built in about 200 hours, a fraction of the time required for current kit planes. The short assembly time for the Adagio is due to use of pre-assembled/prefabricated structures. This approach would require a new interpretation of FAAÕs rule which requires an owner to build and/or fabricate at least 50 percent of a kit-type plane. This is the second time the Kansas team has garnered the first place award in this prestigious and highly competitive competiton. As the first place winner, design team members will share a cash award of $3,000 while the participating unversity departments will share a $5,000 cash award. The second place award was presented to students from the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. The design, dubbed "The Stingray," won praise from the review panel as a well-engineered aircraft design with realistic costing. The panel cited the team for excellent targeting of general aviation revitalization goals. The design features a high-performance aircraft, with a high-power, turbocharged engine and retractable landing gear. A low-wing, pusher configuration is used, with advanced composite materials

offering lighter-weight and improved aerodynamic efficiency. Crashworthiness, good stall characteristics, structural simplification for ease of manufacturing, and a user-friendly, multifunctional-display cockpit were also hallmarks of the awardwinning design. As the second place winner, team members will share a cash award of $2,000. The third place award was presented to a student design team from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg. The team will share a $1,000 cash award. This design is for a sport utility aircraft named the "VenTure." A single-engine, propeller diver, fixed-wing amphibious aircraft, the VenTure can take-off and land on water and then taxi onto land, or land on standard runways through the use of a hydraulic retraction landing gear system. The energy-efficient and environmentally friendly aircraft uses a powerful and light Aero-Diesel engine with record low emission levels. The aircraft incorporates many design elements that enhance safety and add passenger comfort. A special award for Greatest Retrofit Potential was given to Jennifer Wilson, a Princeton University student. The award was given because WilsonÕs design offered the greatest potential for being retrofitted in currently operating general aviation aircraft. Wilson, a senior and May graduate majoring in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, received the $500 award, which is sponsored by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Air Safety Foundation. WilsonÕs design presents innovative ideas for simplication of cockpit instrumentation through the inclusion of a head-up display as an approach to reducing pilot error. The intuitive display drew praise from the competitionÕs expert review panel for its simplicity and uncluttered presentation of information using symbols that have universal appeal, cross language barriers and minimize the use of numerical data. Simple and effective visuals provide critical take-off and landing data, situational awareness, engine/fuel information, altitude data and stall warnings. WilsonÕs award is unique in that it is the first in the competition ever given to a design submission by an individual. All previous awards in the prestigious and highly competitive competition have gone to student teams. The National General Aviation Design Competition is coordinated for NASA and the FAA by the Virginia Space Grant

Consortium. Guidelines for the fourth annual competition, to be held during the 1997-1998 academic year, will be available from the Consortium in August by calling 757/865-0726 or by E-mail message to: msandy@pen.k12.va.us. -end-