M-4

Written Competition Winner

21st Place Overall

2012

SAE West (California)

The M-Fly team designed and built a monoplane for the 2012 SAE Aero Design West Competition. On January 29, the team took the plane out for a test flight. Despite some mild winds and snow, the plane flew successfully with 7 lbs of payload.

Ground View  Tail Camera

The flying portion of the competition began on Saturday, March 17. The weather in Van Nuys was not very good on Saturday, so the flying rounds were postponed until later in the day when the weather cleared. When we finally made it to the flying field for the competition, M-Fly decided to compete in the empty weight bonus round. Our plane flew well until final approach for landing, when the pilot lost signal with the aircraft and it crashed into the bushes. There was a decent amount of damage to the fuselage and tail of our aircraft, but the team decided it was worthwhile to rebuild the aircraft to compete in Sunday's portion of the competition.

After staying up all night, the team had the plane in flying condition for Sunday. Unfortunately, the M-4 had residual damage from the prior crash, causing the wing to shear off the plane mid-flight. Upon inspection of the damaged plane, it was not possible to repair the damage. A video of our flight has been posted on YouTube.

Despite not actually having a successful flying round at the competition, M-Fly performed well at competition this year. At the awards ceremony, M-Fly won first place for our written design report and got a trophy for our efforts. Also, the team won best crash of the competition for Sunday's crash, so M-Fly left the competition with 2 trophies- a new team record!