Heavy Lift Cargo Plane Proposal

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Heavy Lift Cargo Plane Proposal

  • Matthew Chin, Aaron Dickerson, Brett J. Ulrich, Tzvee Wood
  • October 5th, 2004
  • Group #1 – Project #3

Project Introduction

  • The apex of design courses, work will focus on applying course knowledge to an industrial project
  • Project will encompass planning, design, construction and testing of a complete engineering endeavor
  • Teamwork and leadership skills will be an important factor in the synthesis of a complete design
  • Learn / Experience design process first hand from design to construction to testing


  • Need for heavy lift cargo planes to serve energy/mining/military sectors
  • Short takeoff and landing (STOL)
  • Fuel efficiency for long range transport
  • Current market limited - Ukrainian-built Antonov only real contender - Antonov An-225 capable of transporting over 250 tons – only one built
  • An-124 – 150 ton payload capacity

Project Impact

  • Change air transport options
  • Enhance ability to distribute natural resources
  • Reduce shipping costs, time, and energy consumption
  • Broader military transport options

Project Objectives

  • Compete in SAE Aero East Competition to design a heavy lift cargo plane
  • Apply areas of Mechanical Engineering education to a real life problem:
    • Dynamics
    • Fluid Mechanics
    • Modeling & Simulation
    • Analysis of Stresses

Competition Selection

  • Regular Class:
    • Maximum wing span
    • One type of engine, no modifications allowed
  • Open Class:
    • No wing span restriction
    • Any reciprocating internal combustion engine allowed
    • Maximum empty weight
  • Micro Class:
    • No wing span restriction or weight limit
    • Internal combustion or electrical engines allowed
    • Winner determined by highest lift/weight ratio

Competition Selection

  • Open and Micro Class require more in-depth design
    • Selection of engine & fuel
    • Gearbox ratios different from 1:1
    • Gyroscopic assist allowed
  • Regular Class requires less design decisions
    • Concentrate on Airfoil & Body Design
    • Able to compete better with schools that focus on aerospace engineering
    • Stevens has previously entered Regular Class

2005 Regular Class Requirements

  • No lighter-than-air or rotary wing aircraft
  • Maximum wing span of 60 inches
  • Take off zone of 200 feet
  • Landing zone of 400 feet
  • Single, unmodified O.S. .61FX Engine with E-4010 Muffler
  • Payload bay must enclose a block measuring 5 in. x 6 in. x 8 in.
  • Plane that lifts the most wins

2005 Regular Class Requirements

  • Cannot simply refine the 2004 entry
  • Requirements vastly different in 2004:
    • 10 ft. wing span minimum
    • 6 in. x 5 in. x 4 in. payload bay
  • Some components can be re-used to reduce cost:
    • Engine requirement is the same from 2004
    • Functioning servos can be reused

Anticipated Hurdles

  • No group members have any previous aerospace engineering experience
  • Rule changes have forced the team to conceive a totally different design from previous teams
  • Construction irregularities must be minimized to produce results expected from theoretical design

Overcoming the Hurdles

  • Consultation with project advisor and past competition participants will give insight into aerospace design process
    • Existing research links
    • Techniques for design and building
  • WINFOIL software will be employed in aircraft design
    • Enables trial and error approach to augment theoretical calculations
    • Design can be exported to CAD
    • CAD drawings can be used with CNC machinery

Preliminary Concepts

  • Flying wing
    • Fuselage is built into wing, cuts down on air resistance
    • Reduces material required for fuselage
    • May be difficult to support/brace payload bay properly
  • Biplane
    • Larger wing surface area
    • Increase in lift
    • Not enough engine power supplied

Preliminary Concepts

  • Monoplane
    • Clear and distinct parts
    • Easy to build
    • High lift when right wing is chosen
    • Large quantity of known data
    • Rather “simple” calculations
  • Team selected Monoplane for design

Preliminary Concepts

Conceptual Designs

  • Limited conceptual designs available at this time:
    • No group member has previous aeronautical engineering or RC plane design experience
    • Competition requirements have only been available since the end of September
  • WINFOIL Software will be used in developing wing and fuselage design

Project Needs/Metrics

Project Needs/Metrics

Project Needs/Metrics

Heavy Lift Considerations

  • High lift versus Wing weight/Stability
  • Max lift for area
      • Angle of wing
      • Aspect Ratio
      • Actual Type of Wing (ex. NACA 6409)
      • Type of Plane (ex. Monoplane)

Preliminary WINFOIL Trial

3D Airfoil

Future Planes: The Technology

  • Entire planes tested and designed on the computer
      • Wings
      • Tail Fins
      • Fuselage
  • No tedious calculations
  • No human errors
  • Easy inputs
  • Pretty graphs and easily interpretable results
  • All plane data incorporated into program

Sample Calculations

Gantt Chart

  • Work Breakdown Schedule

Phase I: Design Budget

  • Design budget does not include construction or competition costs
  • Employee Cost:
    • Wage: $30/hr (10 hrs per week, 14.5 weeks)
    • Benefits estimated at 50% wages: $15/hr
    • Total Phase I Employee Cost: $26,100
  • Additional funds required to cover overhead estimated at approximately 50% of total labor cost: $13,050
  • Total estimated Phase I Budget: $39,150

Future Deliverables

  • Conceptual design sketches
  • Final calculations
  • Metrics used in airfoil selection
  • Final plane design selection
  • Model of final design
  • Phase II: Construction Budget


  • Design requirements dictate the concentration on airfoil and fuselage design
  • Utilization of WINFOIL will enable the design team to overcome any theoretical inadequacies among team members
  • Large scope of project dictates strict adherence to the proposed GANTT Chart

Feedback is Appreciated

  • Thank You


  • http://airfieldmodels.com/information_source/index.htm
  • http://web.umr.edu/~aavg/
  • http://airfieldmodels.com/information_source/math_and_science_of_model_aircraft/flaperons_on_model_aircraft.htm
  • http://www.winfoil.com/
  • http://www.ctaz.com/~kelcomp/airfoils5.htm
  • http://www.pdas.com/index.htm
  • http://www.centennialofflight.gov/essay/Theories_of_Flight/airplane/TH2.htm
  • http://www.towerhobbies.com/rcwairinfo.html
  • http://www.easyrc.com/airplanes/airplanes3.html
  • http://students.sae.org/competitions/aerodesign/east/

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