Aerospace Engineering team completes contest flights at Design/Build/Fly

Published: Jun 4, 2008 11:23:00 AM
Media Contact: Sally Credille,, 334.844.3447


The team's entry, "Moby", takes flight at the competition.

Auburn Engineering's Design/ Build/ Fly student team successfully flew their airplane, which was designed and built at the April 18-20 fly-off held at Cessna Field in Wichita, Kan. Their entry, nicknamed "Moby" because of its size and shape, completed all three contest flights under challenging conditions and gusting winds of 39 mph. Of the 50 teams attending the competition, Auburn's was one of only nine able to complete the three competition flights.

"I was very pleased with our team's performance this year," said Gil Crouse, faculty advisor to the team. "They pulled off three successful flights on Sunday when most of the other teams' airplanes were being blown away by the gusty winds."

Auburn Engineering's Design/Build/Fly team

Auburn Engineering's Design/Build/Fly student team.

Team members included Neal Allgood, Judith Bailey, Grace Colonell, Josh Edwards, Jayme Howsman, Michael Patterson, Brian Reitz, Ryan Sherrill and Jason Welstead. Welstead was team leader and Reitz was team pilot. The team was sponsored by the College of Engineering and Dynetics.

"In spite of their hard work all year, several issues came up just before the competition and in Wichita," said Crouse. "The team rose to the challenge, really pulled together and did the work needed to reconfigure and rebuild the airplane for its successful flights on Sunday."

The Design/ Build/ Fly competition is organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and sponsored by Cessna Aircraft and Raytheon Missile Systems. Students are required to design, make and demonstrate the flight capabilities of an unmanned, electric-powered, radio-controlled aircraft. It provides real-world aircraft design experience for engineering students and gives them the opportunity to apply the analytical skills they've acquired in the classroom.