Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


8 Jun 2017

BMFA Challenge Results!

Team Yusuf with their aircraft

At the weekend Aeronautical Engineering students from Loughborough University students were supported by John Newton, a University Teacher from the Department of aeronautical and Automotive Engineering to participate in the BMFA Challenge.

As in previous years teams of Loughborough Aeronautical undergraduate students took part in the British Model Flying Association Payload Challenge. The challenge is open to Universities around the globe and this year saw entries from 2 Chinese Universities as well as several UK Universities.

The challenge is to carry up to 4kg of water as cargo using a set motor and battery combination for propulsion, bearing in mind this only delivers 300 watts of input power at full throttle just getting airborne is some achievement!

Teams have to supply a report, full set of technical drawings as well as giving a presentation to a panel of expert judges and are allowed up to three qualifying flights. For the flying portion the ratio of empty weight to water carried is key to a good score.

This year, despite some setbacks along the way, the teams were able to get two aircraft through scrutineering and onto the airfield.

Following the move to a new site with a grass runway for this year’s competition, Team Yusuf designed a high wing aircraft of conventional layout with a novel carbon fibre undercarriage system featuring full suspension with damping. This performed faultlessly recording the maximum 3 flights allowed without any repairs being required earning them a well-deserved 4th place overall.

Team Tearleinator won the Jetex Trophy for their submission; this is a one off award given to the team for the best report and design work. Their work was exemplary. Despite circumstances meaning that they were unable to attend on the day they still came 8th overall!

Team D had developed an unconventional pusher canard design called Bruce which certainly drew a lot of attention at the competition with its purple and silver livery. Despite their valiant efforts during the competition and some memorable take off attempts this failed to get airborne for more than a few hops, a good effort nonetheless. It should be pointed out that canards have not fared well at the competition previously so this is still a good achievement. Team D’s final position was 9th.

John Newton stated: "Congratulations go to all of the teams, it was great to see your perseverance and effort rewarded!"