Cal Poly San Luis Obispo -- October 27, 2003
Poly Aerospace Engineering Students Win National Aircraft Design Competition
Ten Cal Poly College of Engineering students won first and second place
awards at the 2002-2003 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
(AIAA) Undergraduate Team Aircraft Design Competition.
The eight members of Cal Poly's Team Hyperion won the $2,500 first place
award in the Team Aircraft Design category with their proposal for a
six-engine ultra-heavy-lift aircraft capable of carrying a 1.2 million
pound payload at 520 mph.
In the AIAA Individual Aircraft Design Category, Cal Poly’s Francesco
Giannini won the $2,500 first place award and Gene Gisin won $1,500
for second with designs for an unmanned combat air vehicle, similar
to the Predator in use by the U.S. military today.
For their "Hyperion" transport plane, the winning Cal Poly
team went to a WWI-era biplane design to stay within a Federal Aviation
Administration wingspan limit of 262 feet.
“By going with a biplane, it allowed us to meet the ultra-heavy-lift
requirement of the competition and stay within FAA rules,” team
member Mark Blackwood said. His fellow team members were Tom Farrell,
Andy Gibson, Jon Keith, Jim Knight, Andy Rowe, Ben Schiltgen and Brian
“We consider the AIAA competition to be the NCAA Championships
for aerospace students, so we’re really happy,” Blackwood
The winning Cal Poly students, all graduated seniors, were enrolled
in classes that prep students for the AIAA competition. “The senior
design sequence is where everything the students learn comes together,”
said faculty advisor David Hall, who credited the help and support of
Boeing for his students’ success.
This is the capstone for design students and this group of students
carried on Cal Poly’s long tradition of doing very well at the
AIAA competition.” Located in Reston, Va., the AIAA has been the
principal society of the aerospace engineers and scientists for more
than 70 years. The group’s annual student competition attracts
entrants from around the world. Ten student teams including one from
Australia competed in the 2002-03 competition.
More information is available at www.aiaa.org.
Contact: Bob Anderson in Public Affairs, (805) 756-6532 or firstname.lastname@example.org,
or Amy Hewes, (805) 756-6402, email@example.com.