Innovative Concepts for Future Aircraft Design: Virginia Tech's 'Centura' wins NASA's competition

Aug 02, 2004

"Centura," a single-engine jet aircraft designed by undergraduate engineering students from Virginia Tech and their counterparts at Loughborough University in the U.K., has won the Best Overall Award in NASA's 2004 Revolutionary Vehicles and Concepts Competition.

The competition, sponsored by the NASA Langley Research Center's Aerospace Vehicle Systems Technology Office and FAA's Hughes Technical Center, challenged students to develop innovative concepts and systems for future aircraft. The awards ceremony was held July 30 at the Experimental Aircraft Association's AirVenture 2004 in Oshkosh, Wis.

This marks the second year in a row and the fourth time in the past seven years that Virginia Tech/Loughborough University teams have won first place in NASA-sponsored university design competitions.

This year's team included 15 Virginia Tech students -- 10 aerospace and ocean engineering (AOE) seniors, two industrial and systems engineering (ISE) seniors and three freshmen in general engineering -- and 11 fourth-year aeronautical engineering students from Loughborough. The team's advisers are Jim Marchman, professor of aerospace and ocean engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, and Gary Page, professor of aeronautical engineering at Loughborough.

The team designed Centura as an aircraft that could replace single-engine, piston-powered vehicles in the general aviation market, Marchman said. To succeed with this concept, the students had to design a new jet engine optimized for low flight speeds at low altitudes -- not the typical jet environment.

"Most designs for general aviation jets aim for high performance and high-altitude flight," Marchman said. "The Virginia Tech/Loughborough team's unique concept is for a plane that would meet the needs of the thousands of single-engine general aviation pilots whose flying is usually done at altitudes below 10,000 feet and speeds below 250 knots."

"The team selected the name Centura for their design because they felt it honored the 100th anniversary of flight and reflected the 21st century technology used in the aircraft," Marchman said.

For more information about Centura and the team, visit www.aoe.vt.edu/design/centuria/index.html.

Award winners in the 2004 competition placed in three tiers. The Virginia Tech/Loughborough team placed best overall in the top tier, which also included teams from Cornell University and Georgia Tech. Second tier teams were from Clemson University, Montana State University, Pennsylvania State University and University of Virginia. Teams placing in the third tier represented Ohio University, Penn State (which entered two vehicles) and University of Kansas. A student from Iowa State University won honorable mention for a personal air vehicle.

Source: Virginia Tech

Explore further: Thermonuclear supernova ejects our galaxy's fastest star (w/ video)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Teachers become healthier when they learn

6 minutes ago

Several studies have indicated a connection between learning and health. In a recently published study from University West and Linnaeus University the researchers found that the health of school teachers ...

'Slow motion at the speed of light'

26 minutes ago

New technology developed by a collaboration between the UA and the University of California, Los Angeles, provides real-time monitoring of streaming video to optimize network traffic.

Virtual vehicle testing – modeling tires realistically

26 minutes ago

Manufacturers conduct virtual tests on vehicle designs long before the first car rolls off the assembly line. Simulation of the tires has remained a challenge, however. The software tool "CDTire/3D" from ...

Recommended for you

'Planck' puts Einstein to the test

3 hours ago

Researchers, including physicists from Heidelberg University, have gained new insights into dark energy and the theory of gravitation by analysing data from the "Planck" satellite mission of the European ...

Distant supernova split four ways by gravitational lens

4 hours ago

Over the past several decades, astronomers have come to realize that the sky is filled with magnifying glasses that allow the study of very distant and faint objects barely visible with even the largest telescopes.

Testing to diagnose power event in Mars rover

10 hours ago

NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is expected to remain stationary for several days of engineering analysis following an onboard fault-protection action on Feb. 27 that halted a process of transferring sample material ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.