Engineers collaborate to design rescue aircraft

Researchers from the Department of Engineering were runners up in a NASA-sponsored design challenge.

The Flight Science and Technology (FS&T) group took part in the contest in collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US to create a civilian aircraft that could rescue up to 50 survivors in the event of a natural disaster.

The team designed the Civilian Aid, Emergency Search and Rescue (CAESAR), which is a quad-tiltrotor (QTR) which provides a blend of range and speed of a fixed wing aircraft with the vertical capabilities of a helicopter.

The model was conceived by Georgia Tech using FLIGHTLAB© and was loaded into the flight simulator at the University for a piloted flight test in the virtual aircraft. The data and pilot comments were then analysed and improvements made.

Emma Timson, a postgraduate in Engineering, said: “This was a great opportunity for me to see how the research we do is used in industry. The Georgia Tech team were great and it was exiting to work on such an innovative design.”

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