ACC’09 – AERACES 2009

This team was an inheritance of AERACES 2007 team. Only Pedro Albuquerque, Pedro Ochôa and Pedro Paulo were beginners. The experience from Air Cargo Challenge 2007 by most of the team as well as the external aid of highly experienced colleagues as Horácio Moreira and Luís Cruz (winners of ACC’05) meant that the team could aim high.

The Team:






Hugo Lopes

Aerospace Engineering



Jorge Silva

Captain & Pilot

Nuno Santos


Pedro Albuquerque


Pedro Ochôa


Pedro Paulo


Pedro Simplício


Official Website:


The Aircraft:

The conceptual design was similar to the one from 2007, keeping the distinguish feature of that aircraft, the duct. Since this concept raised many stability problems (already identified in 2007) it was decided that the wing would be rectangular in shape, without torsion in order to make its project and manufacture much easier. Furthermore the model had an aerofoil shaped fuselage to decrease the aerodynamic drag and the aeroplane had a conventional inverted T-tail. After crashing the model on its maiden flight, with clear instability problems, namely in what concerned to the spiral mode, the second flight proved that the duct was viable, although the conventional stability analysis was obviously not applicable.

The Competition:

Unfortunately, it was impossible to put the aircraft flying as it had flown in Lisbon. A broken longeron during the packing of the model meant that the aircraft crashed soon after take-off in its first flight in Covilhã. Unable to compete in the 2nd round of flights, the team worked until late night hours to have the aircraft ready for competition the day after. Once again, the aircraft crashed, this time after roughly 10 seconds of flight due to strong lateral wind and gusts, which caused a loss of control of the model. After this crash, the 3rd round of flights was cancelled which meant no other teams besides IST’s AERACES 2009 and Equipa_0 had to face such strong winds.

Regardless of all the misfortunes during the competition, the team managed to achieve the main goal – improve the AERACES 2007 model so that the ducted fan concept could be demonstrated in flight (although before the competition!). Besides that, it’s worthwhile to say that a team with only 3rd year students managed to do a technical report that ranked sixth amongst a total of 26 teams (only 21 of which have eventually showed up in Covilhã.


To colleagues Bruno Pereira, Horácio Moreira and Luís Cruz.

To BPI bank and APAE (Portuguese Association of Aeronautics & Space) who were the sponsors of the project.

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