This website follows the development of the microDuck, a micro air vehicle developed by Group 5 of the Stevens Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering Department. rom its inception to its participation in the 2006 SAE Aero Design East competition in Marietta, Georgia.
Micro Air Vehicles (or MAVs) are currently being developed in the United States and abroad with the intention of being used in military, police and search and rescue operations. These small, flying vehicles are being developed with the intention of reducing size to less than 15 centimeters, radially, and reducing mass to less than 10 grams, according to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). DARPA’s goal springs from the need of today’s military to keep a technological edge on foreign powers, and the need to miniaturize currently deployed Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) to the point that they can be carried by troops in the battlefield for close surveillance support, however, the small scale of these vehicles presents myriad problems to engineers currently attempting to devise a solution.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), in recognition of this, has introduced a micro-class category to its annual Aero Design competition. Competition guidelines allow considerable leeway for the micro-class designs, providing no restriction of weight or wingspan. The single goal of the competition is to create a fixed wing aircraft that minimizes craft empty weight, while simultaneously maximizing payload fraction. This site documents the design efforts involved in creating an optimized design to fulfill the competition requirements. The final design was a high wing aircraft utilizing the Eppler 423 airfoil, with tricycle landing gear, a rectangular fuselage, and a conventional tail. The final design concept was found to be feasible, and was found to exceed previous competitors’ flight performances.
For the complete set of competition rules, see http://www.sae.org/students/aerorules.pdf.