ACC’09 – Equipa_0

The team Equipa_0 (in English: Team_0) that was present in Air Cargo Challenge 2009 had its origin in a group of IST’s freshmen from 2007 that were very demotivated by the lack of practical component of their Aerospace Engineering Master Degree.

Thus, in the academic year of 2008/2009 those freshmen, then in the second year, started preparing their participation in the competition, despite the lack of knowledge in almost every areas of the construction process of an aeroplane.


The Team:





David Melo

Aerospace Engineering



Francisca Dias


Hugo Domingues


José Pedro

Captain & Pilot

Luís Carlos


Miguel Marreiro


         The Aircraft:

In face of the team’s lack of experience and technical background, it was decided to build a conventional configuration aeroplane and most of the decisions were based on some team members with experience in model aeroplanes.

The manufacturing methods were the simplest possible and the materials used were mostly plywood and aluminium covered with shrink film. Due to the lack of numerical optimization very high safety factors have been used during its construction leading to a high empty weight aaeroplane.

The Competition:

Winning was out of question – everyone in the team knew that with their scarce knowledge at that time it would be almost impossible – instead, the main goal was to increase the “know-how” and practical skills of management, construction and systems engineering for future participations and also for the professional life.

The participation was a relative success because, despite the difficulties for financing and the problems in the construction, the team managed to go to Covilhã with an aircraft ready to fly. Sadly, it was impossible to make a complete flight due to heavy cross winds in the Covilhã’s aerodrome that was the reason for a hard crash during the take-off.

But in the end everyone in the team got home some added value from the experience and the proof is that for the ACC’11 edition the new IST’s team (PASSAROLA Team) included 2 members from this team.


To colleague Nuno Rosário.

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



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