The 2022 aircraft is the first design for the new competition rules. This design consists of three motorized vehicles, the main aircraft, the PADA (powered autonomous deployment aircraft), and GTV (ground transportation vehicle). Due to the payload being waterbags, loading configuration has become easier. This fuselage has been optimized to carry maximum payload capacity. This aircraft placed 3rd in the 2022 SAE Aero competition.
The 2021 aircraft was to optimize structural weight by using composite monocoque skin and tubes that was used to create the fuselage. This enabled the fuselage to be lightweight and have a high payload capacity. Similarly, the nerf bombs were oriented in a criss-cross orientation to allow for optimal payload capacity and ease of deployment during the operation. The fuselage configuration and cross-sectional area were chosen to accommodate the unique payload orientation. This aircraft placed 5th in the 2021 SAE Aero competition.
The 2020 aircraft is the first attempt at the advanced class. In order to reduce structural weight and overall aircraft size, despite the high volume of payload, RAD has employed a composite monocoque fuselage construction. This enables a high degree of strength and stiffness to be retained, while still remaining lightweight and minimizing non-payload volume within the outer mold line of the aircraft.
This aircraft was designed to maximize the number of "passengers" on board. Using tennis balls to simulate passengers, and steel plates to simulate cargo, the 2019 aircraft was able to lift a total of 62 passengers with a 0.5 lb per passenger cargo. The aircraft is unique in its blended-wing body design that gives it a manta ray shape. This aircraft placed 27th at the SAE Aero Design West 2019 Regular Class competition.
The 2018 aircraft boasts an improved aerodynamic design. Using various manufacturing strategies and materials, RAD created an aircraft with a high lift-to-drag ratio. The aircraft holds a total of 26 passengers with a 0.51 lb per passenger cargo ratio. This aircraft placed 6th overall at the SAE Aero Design West 2018 Regular Class competition.
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