ACC’07– AERACES 2007

The AERACES Team was an initiative of its most experienced members, Luís Cruz and Horácio Moreira, which wanted to be part of the first international edition of the Air Cargo Challenge and had been part of Ícaro Team, which has won the ACC’05. A well succeeded marketing campaign was able to attract many freshmen that managed to build an enthusiastic team. 

 

The Team:

Name

Degree

Year

Notes

Luíz Cruz

Aerospace Engineering

5th

Captain

Horácio Moreira

4th

-

Bruno Pereira

1st

-

Hugo Lopes

-

João Rama

-

Jorge Silva

Pilot

Luísa Santos

-

Maria Metelo

-

Nelson Fernandes

-

Nuno Santos

-

Pedro Marques

-

Official Website: http://aero.ist.utl.pt/~aeraces/index-en_old.php

 

The Aircraft:

The aircraft was of a conventional T-tail configuration with a ducted fan instead of a general puller propeller configuration in order to enhance the static thrust available so that it would be able to have an increased acceleration during take-off enabling the lift of a higher payload within the available 60m. This increased speed would enable the use of a higher lift wing. This highly unconventional configuration brought up serious stability problems that everyone was expecting.

The design stage was intense and laborious, including the development of an aerodynamic and stability study using the vortex lattice method and a computational routine for the optimum take-off configuration.

The Competition:

The aeroplane’s performance was relatively poor, because it lacked both static and dynamic stability due to the significant force moments and gyroscopic moments generated by the ducted fan. Indeed, it did not manage to make any successful flight. The fuselage and landing gear structure’s quality were not the best, but helped on diverting attendees’ attention from the lack of stability the aeroplane showed to have while on the runway.

Anyhow, the competition was an extremely enriching experience, not only because of the contact with other teams and the different solutions that each team presented, but also because of the learning process that encompasses such a project. The high number of freshmen involved in this project eventually led to the creation of far more competitive teams in the years to come.

Acknowledgements:

To BPI bank and Critical Software who were the sponsors of the project.

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