K J Somaiya College of Engineering ranks 3rd in Asia in SAE Aero Design East, an International Aero Design competition held at Texas, USA

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Mumbai: Team Onyx India, the Aero design club of K J Somaiya College of Engineering made the Somaiya family proud by securing the 13th rank in Technical Presentation, 15th rank globally and 3rd in the Asia Pacific at the recent SAE Aero Design East 2019.

SAE Aero Design East, an International Aero Design competition which was held in Fort Worth, Dallas, Texas and was organised by Lockheed Martin. This intercollegiate event tests the student teams in terms of the analytical thinking, designing and manufacturing of R/C aircraft depending on the given problem statement. The competition was held from 8th-10th March at Fort Worth Texas, USA and witnessed participation by 85 teams from countries like Egypt, USA, Canada, etc. After the conduction of the three initial rounds of Design Report, Technical Presentation and Flight rounds, the team Global rank 15th and Asia rank 3rd.

SAE Aero Design includes two regional competitions that challenge participating teams from around the world to conceive, design, fabricate, and test a Radio controlled aircraft that can take off, land, and optimally meet the mission requirements.

Team Onyx India, is the official Aero Design club of K. J. Somaiya College of Engineering. The team works under the guidance of Professor Prashant Jain and participates in various national and international competitions regularly.

While speaking about the experience the team captain and KJSCE student Parth Gabani says “The team had to face various challenges throughout the year. It was our first international competition, so a very pragmatic approach had to be taken. The limited budget within which the team had to work was one of the biggest concerns. However, we were able to manage our funds due to effective planning and even conducted multiple test flights. The team was represented by only five members, making them one of the smallest teams on the day of competition. In spite of all this, the team kept their motivation and dedication levels high and made sure that their aircraft is competition ready. The judges at the competition were full of praise regarding the design of the model and overall project management. Such comments always lift the spirits of the members to work even harder. We credit our success to our faculty advisor, Mr Prashant Jain who was supportive throughout our endeavours and our Team Pilot and Alumni Mr Sohrab Mistri who was instrumental to the overall progress.”

Parth added “Team Onyx India consists of 17 members, 3 of them being female members. They contributed greatly to the propulsion department and helped optimise the efficiency of the aircraft. It just goes to prove their worth and how there should be no gender biasing in such teams. We are thankful for their efforts and their dedication to this year’s success.”

With a new season approaching, the team is already brainstorming ideas to improve their performance even further for the SAE Aero Design East, Lakeland, Florida 2020. The team is already working and analysing certain performance flaws to achieve a better rank, and always live by the motto of Aiming for the Sky.”