Hayesville High School in Hayesville, North Carolina, is the winner of the 2019 General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Aviation Design Challenge. Erie 1 BOCES Harkness Career and Technical Center in Cheektowaga, New York, won second place.
“Our team of engineers serving as judges were extremely impressed with the quality of the designs submitted in this year’s competition,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “We look forward to working with these young people and teaching them more about the exciting world of aviation through the unique experiences of the Glasair Sportsman build and Redbird STEM camp.”
GAMA will send four students, one teacher, and one chaperone from the first-place team on an all-expenses paid trip to help build a plane at Glasair Aviation in Arlington, Washington, from June 10-22. The second place team will receive a two-day Redbird Flight Simulations STEM Lab Camp, hosted at their high school campus.
“Hayesville High School could not be more excited about winning this contest,” said Hayesville High School Principal Dr. Catherine Andrews. “We appreciate what GAMA, its partners, and sponsors do to help bring this Challenge to life and hope that we can carry on in the GAMA tradition as we help develop the future aviation enthusiasts of America.”
The 2019 competition included teams from 136 high schools. The teams used Fly to Learn curriculum to learn the basics of aerospace engineering and then applied that knowledge by modifying a virtual airplane with software powered by X-Plane. The software scored the aircraft based on the payload, the length of the flight, and the amount of fuel burned.
Judges from GAMA’s engineering team also evaluated a summary of modifications each team made to the virtual Glasair Sportsman, a checklist of steps involved in the demonstration flight, and a video submission in which the team summarized what they learned.
“Hosting the winners of the annual Aviation Design Challenge is one of our favorite times of the year,” said Glasair Aviation Sales and Marketing Vice President Mark Shepard. “Congratulations to the winners and we can’t wait to have you here to experience firsthand what it’s like to build a complete aircraft.”
“We are excited to see this level of aviation-oriented promotion to today’s students,” said Rod and Margaret Davis, the owners of the Glasair Sportsman the students will help build. “As both of us are retired aerospace engineers, we know the importance and impact of providing real-world opportunities to individuals and how these experiences can absolutely influence students’ directions toward STEM related careers.”