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Competing With Unmanned Aircraft

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With its single-engine, box-wing aircraft “Big Frank,” Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) team captured two awards at the April SAE Aero Design West competition in Van Nuys.

The “Regular Class” nine-student Titan team captured third place in oral presentation and successfully lifted 19.7 pounds of payload to earn sixth place overall out of 38 collegiate teams, including UC Berkeley, UC Davis and UC Irvine.

Mechanical engineering students designed and built two autonomous aircraft for competition this year. The design competitions provide students with opportunities to apply their engineering skills in solving real-world problems as part of an interdisciplinary team, while competing with the best teams across the nation, said mechanical engineering major James Wang, project lead.

A second Titan team successfully flew its aircraft with 15 pounds of payload in the Advanced Class competition, but was unable to drop its package into the target zone, resulting in 11th place out of 16 teams.

Mechanical engineering faculty advisers are Joseph Piacenza and Salvador Mayoral and graduate student Jake Bailey ’13 (B.S. mechanical engineering).

Upcoming: Students will compete at the June 17-21 Student Unmanned Air Systems Competition, hosted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Seafarer Chapter in Maryland.

For more, visit the Titan UAV Project website. The teams, part of CSUF Titan Innovation, are also raising funds for the projects; to contribute visit online