The Aero Model Association at Xi’an Jiaotong University(XJTU) Won the Grand Championship at the SAE International Competition for the first time

Source:Xi'an Jiaotong University Published: 2018/4/12 11:39:44

From April 3 to 10, the Aero Model Association in Xi'an Jiaotong University took part in the SAE International Aero Design West held in Los Angeles, United States. They competed intensely against 56 varsities from nine countries; some of the universities competing included Union College, Jyothy Institute of Technology, Louisiana State University, Warsaw University of Technology and Kanazawa University. After a review of various aspects like the design report, an on-site question and answer session and air race, the Aero Model Association at XJTU won the championship for the first time, which is considered as a gift to mark the founding anniversary of the Xi'an Jiaotong University. The Chinese flag was held high on the podium to represent the winner of the competition in model airplanes.

Photo: Courtesty of Xi'an Jiaotong University

Rome was not built in a day

SAE (International Aero Design) is a high-level aero model design competition for university students from around the world, which was started in 1986. It was organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers and sponsored by companies like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and SOLIDWORKS. Practice theory knowledge and complete answers in the design report reflected the course of conceiving, designing, making and optimizing an airplane model to meet the demands of the mission. This competition aims to provide a "REAL WORLD" design challenge for students majoring in engineering. Its rules are designed by professionals in the field and combines modern technology and experience. 

During the intense preparation, team members were dedicated to the tasks at hand, from selection of participants to the division of labor to comprehension of the competition rules. They ran through steps repeatedly and conducted flight tests under various conditions. These steps included selection of initial design, numerical simulation demonstration, flight test of prototypes and final design and production for competition. Team numbers also suffered from setbacks such as failure of test results to reach the simulation target, premature manufacturing process and failure of test flights, but these failures accumulated into experience, which laid a solid foundation for the subsequent design and successful flight.

Photo: Courtesty of Xi'an Jiaotong University


The team members put in plenty of time and energy to prepare for the competition. Balancing school life, they devoted all their leisure time to competition preparation and slept four to five hours per day over the course of the competition. When congratulating team members on their preparation for the SAE competition, the Vice President Zheng Qianghua acknowledged their effort towards the competition. To further improve and upgrade their airplane, team members sacrificed family time during the winter holidays, not returning until almost Chinese New Year's Eve, until they had guaranteed their targeted design aim.

Decades of diligent work to win the championship for the first time

The Aero Model Association in Xi'an Jiaotong University is a mass organization for scientific and technological innovation founded in 2002. It consists of undergraduates, postgraduates and doctoral students from various colleges, grades and majors who love airplanes and want to popularize air sports. From its establishment, it focuses on the design and application field of micro-miniature aircraft and solar-powered airplanes. The team carries the spirit of unity that overcomes difficulty, by consistently capturing difficulties in technology and striving to build a platform of sci-tech innovation for students in Xi'an Jiaotong University.

Photo: Courtesty of Xi'an Jiaotong University


For the past decade, the team has repeatedly won single championships at the SAE competition, nationwide championships for aerospace models in CADC competition and other honorary titles; such as, national "Xiaoping Sci-tech innovation team", "Youth League branch of May Fourth Red Banner in Shaanxi Province" and "Vanguard of League members in Shaanxi Province". It received attention and coverage from multiple media outlets including CCTV, China Youth News and Chinese Science News.  

The scientific preparation, design and stable performance allowed the team to eventually acquire excellent results and obtain unanimous appreciation from other competition teams, judges and audiences. After the competition, plenty of foreign teams actively exchanged design experiences, manufacture processes and technology details with the team from Xi'an Jiaotong University. The Aero Model Association of Warsaw University of Technology, the top champion in 2017, known for their design and fabrication, also congratulated the team.

Photo: Courtesty of Xi'an Jiaotong University

 
This success could not have happened without the coordination and support of related departments and colleges; such as the international office, students' affair office, education foundation, school of foreign languages, school of aeronautics and dynamic college. The international office arranged training for foreign affairs and special support for international exchange for the undergraduates. The national demonstration center of experiment teaching in mechanics from the school of aeronautics and innovation lab for tiny aircraft provided the wind tunnel test and some equipment for model fabrication for competition preparation. The school of foreign languages arranged teacher-student teams to specially coach the writing of their design reports and PPT defense in English. Multiple companies also sponsored equipment for the competition including Wuxi Ruisikai Science and Technology Co., Ltd, Scorpion Electrical Co., Ltd, T-Motor, Hexing Science and Technology Co., Ltd, Xi'an Qiyu Innovation Science and Technology Co., Ltd. and Dajiang Innovation Science and Technology Co., Ltd. 



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