MELBOURNE, FLA.—Current and former Florida Institute of Technology students took first place for their paper, “Design and Construction of a Blended Wing-Body UAV,” at the 49th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, held in Orlando in January. The team was one of six regional winners competing to earn the international award.
“Our very dedicated and talented students beat teams from the best engineering schools in the nation for this prestigious award,” said Razvan Rusovici, assistant professor in the department of aerospace and mechanical engineering and the team’s adviser.
The Blended Wing Body team displayed their 16-foot wingspan student project at the Northrop Grumman Student Design Showcase last April, where it won Best in Show for aerospace engineering. Team members are May 2010 graduate Sharif Abdel-Magid, team leader; Jamarus Brooks; Dennis Dalli; Joshuo Feys; Michael Filewich; Matthew Osborne and Daniel Thompson. All are currently aerospace engineering majors or recent graduates in the field.
Team members have formed a company, Easy Innovations, based in Indialantic, to design, build and market their invention. The team originally built a cargo-carrying electronic unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). For their commercial project the company will continue to develop their prototype and look into applications primarily targeted at civilian use. The plane is named the Ralos for the German company that provided sponsorship to the team.
Easy Innovations CEO Abdel-Magid signed a technology transfer agreement with Florida Tech in December 2010.