CU aero design students ready for nationals

CEDARVILLE — Cedarville University mechanical engineering seniors constructed a new remote control airplane for the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International Aero Design East Competition in Lakeland, Fla.

The competition — March 9-11 — is extremely competitive, as countries from around the world send their best to compete, and Cedarville University has repeatedly placed in the top five. In 2016, Cedarville earned second place for the presentation category of the competition and seventh overall out of 14 teams. This will be the third year Cedarville participates in the advanced class of the competition.

The advanced competition requires teams to use an on-board telemetry system that relays flight information to a ground station in order to drop a weight onto a target from 100 feet in the air.

“This project gives students a glimpse at how competitive and challenging some areas of engineering design can be; it equips them well for the real world,” said Dr. Tim Norman, distinguished professor of mechanical and biomedical engineering.

“The students have to learn to cooperate as a team,” he said. “This project succeeds only because people work together, and this group of individuals has a good working relationship and strong technical skill that will hopefully translate into moving up in the rankings.”

Mechanical engineering seniors working on this project are Jacob Danna (Syracuse, N.Y.), Logan Delk (Brookville), Jordan Denen (Xenia), Christian Hopkins (Milton, Del.), Nathan Jaquish (Bellbrook), Rebekah Jensen (Chugiak, Ark.), Wesley Kimmel (Madison, Conn.), David King (Warrenton, Va.), Philip Kline (Myerstown, Pa.), Anna Parkinson (Port Orchard, Wash.), Heather Reitmeyer (Shohola, Pa) and Mark Watt (Bedford). The team designed and tested the plane during fall semester.

The RC airplane pilot is Dr. Keith Numbers, the weapons system integration lead in the turbine engine division at the research laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Numbers was introduced to the Cedarville aero team through the Miami RC club in Xenia.

Lockheed Martin, a worldwide global security and aerospace company, sponsors the SAE RC airplane competition; the company often gleans technological ideas and innovations from colleges and universities that participate in the event. SAE organizes the entire competition, while Lockheed Martin funds the RC airplane event.