Merlin Flight Simulation Group’s IT FLIES USA was another closely contested competition this year. Judged by Test Pilots Gary Konnert, Frank Delsing and Aaron Tucker, the Competition drew an interesting and varied selection of aircraft designs from university students, which were flown and assessed on The University of Dayton’s MP521 flight simulator. Society of Flight Test Engineers representative Troy Hoeger judged the Presentation Section.
The winners this year are The University of Cincinnati with their supersonic business jet, designed to operate at subsonic and supersonic fight regimes. The aircraft can cruise at Mach 0.95 and Mach 1.5 based on range and time requirements, and operates without afterburners for noise reduction, opting instead to use high bypass turbofan engines.
Second was a team from Mississippi State University (MSU) with their FAF-10, a large four engine aircraft designed to combat fires, carrying 6,000 gallons or around 54,000 pounds of fire retardant. The plane has the largest wingspan of any turbo-prop powered aircraft, while the engines allow it to propel itself at speeds of over 350 kts.
MSU’s other team won the Presentation Section with their amphibious aircraft designed to carry 19 passengers and 2 crew members. - named G00S3 in honour of the Grumman Goose.
The prize for the most Innovative Aircraft Design went to The University of Manchester with their 6th generation fighter jet optimized for very low combat manoevres to avoid radar detection, and also high altitude combat up to 50,000 feet.
Prizes for this year’s IT FLIES USA were sponsored by STEngineering Antycip Simulation, The Aviation Historian Magazine, and The Royal Aeronautical Society.