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University Relations

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April 20, 2005
Contact: Jill Hummels, School of Engineering, (785) 864-2934.

KU students to test their aircraft design April 22-24 at national contest in Texas

LAWRENCE -- University of Kansas School of Engineering students will test the limits of an aircraft they designed when they take it to the Society of Automotive Engineers Aero Design West competition April 22 through 24 in Fort Worth, Texas.

The annual contest allows students to apply what they've learned in the classroom to real situations. Students must design, build and fly a radio-controlled aircraft that is capable of carrying large amounts of weight. The KU team expects its aircraft to carry 22 to 23 pounds.

Kyle Hunt, aerospace engineering senior and project manager, is responsible for the design of the team's aircraft, the "Sub-SubSonic Cruiser." This semester, Hunt has spent 20 to 30 hours a week finalizing the design, building the aircraft and managing the team.

" This is the first airplane I've ever designed, so I was apprehensive until I saw it fly," he said.

The KU team began building the biplane-style aircraft in January. Hunt said every member of the 13-person team contributed to the project.

" We all have a part in the building of the aircraft. With everything that we have to accomplish in such a small amount of time, it would be impossible for a single person."

While in Texas, teams will submit a written report and give a 15-minute presentation that will determine half of their score. The other half of the score comes from test flights. Teams have the opportunity to increase scores by consecutive flights with additional weight.

Competitors will have six to 10 flight opportunities during the one and a half days of flying. Normally, teams start with lower weights in the earlier rounds and progressively add more weight.

The KU team won the 2003 Aero Design East competition and placed fourth in the 2004 Aero Design West competition.

From Lawrence
James Leung Moore, senior in aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering, son of James and Karen Moore; Lawrence Free State High School.

From Olathe
Katie Lollis, senior in aerospace engineering, daughter of Denese Lollis and James Lollis, Olathe East High School.

From Overland Park
Brad Torgler, senior in aerospace engineering, son of Alan and Jolene Torgler; Blue Valley North High School; fuselage construction leader.

From Shawnee
Will Miller, junior in aerospace engineering, son of Donald and Luba Miller; Shawnee Mission Northwest High School.

From Wamego
Kyle Hunt, senior in aerospace engineering, son of Steve and Kathy Hunt; Wamego High School; project manager.

From St. John
Chris Hullman, senior in aerospace engineering, son of Kim and Helen Hullman; St. John High School; structural analyst.

From Topeka
Matt Landavazo, sophomore in aerospace engineering, son of Armond and Rachel Landavazo; Shawnee Heights High School, Tecumseh; wing construction leader.

From Bonner Springs and Kansas City
Jonathan Wheeler, senior in aerospace engineering, son of Dee Etta Anne Wheeler, Bonner Springs, and Terry Wheeler, Kansas City; Bonner Springs High School.

From Warrensburg
Kevin Michael, senior in aerospace engineering with a minor in mathematics, son of George and Joyce Michael; Warrensburg High School; empennage (tail assembly) construction leader.

From Omaha
Lance Holly, master's degree student in aerospace engineering, son of Norman and Beth Holly; Omaha High School; pilot.

From Fargo
Braden Sutton, sophomore in aerospace engineering, son of Bob and Claudette Sutton; South High School.

From Tulsa
Tim Forthman, senior in aerospace engineering, son of Daniel Forthman; Jenks High School, Jenks, Okla.

From Hiroshima
Tomohiro Shimizu, senior in aerospace engineering, son of Hirokazu Shimizu; landing gear construction leader.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045