Auburn performs well at AIAA flight competition

Published: May 4, 2006 5:00:00 PM
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Students from Auburn's aerospace engineering program placed thirteenth overall at the annual American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Design/Build/Fly competition April 21-23 in Wichita, Kan. Auburn's team was the highest placing team among schools from the Southeast. It marked the first time Auburn has entered the competition.

"To place as highly as they did on their first attempt is outstanding," said Gil Crouse, associate professor in aerospace engineering and the team's advisor. "All of the other schools had competed in previous years, which made our team's top 15 finish even more meaningful."

More than 50 teams from around the world entered the competition, which required students to build a remote controlled airplane that met certain design criteria and could carry out specified contest objectives. The planes then were flown and judged based on those criteria. The Auburn team made four successful flight attempts and completed both of its required missions.

The team consisted of 13 aerospace students: seniors Gareth Andrews, Richard Bramlette, Michael Brennison, Ryan Leurck, Christopher Newbolt, Bryan Recktenwald, and Joshua Wallace; juniors Daniel Gossman, Daniel Hiatt, Samuel Kobliska, Robert Peluso and Zachary Slatton; and doctoral student Christoph Burger. The team was supported by the College of Engineering and by corporate sponsors Hobbico, Futaba and Boeing.

"A successful showing like this really demonstrates the abilities of our college's student body," Crouse said. "It also brings the classroom out to the runway."