The purpose of this paper is to present the process of design and prototyping of a two-seat, electric-powered, self-launching motorglider AOS-71 closely connected with the teaching process conducted by the academic staff of Warsaw University of Technology (WUT) within a unique educational ULS – Ultra Light Sailplanes programme.
The selected design methods and tools used during the development of the motorglider have been described. The computer aided design/computer aided manufacturing modules of the Siemens NX software were used to work on the structural design, tools and technical documentation. The core of the ULS educational programme is to educate aerospace engineering students by providing an opportunity for them to participate in each phase of the aircraft life cycle – from conceptual drawings through structural design and prototyping to manufacturing, testing and maintenance.
The main innovations of the AOS-71 design are: retractable ecological electric propulsion, spacious cockpit where seats are located side by side and the all-composite airframe made of 90 per cent advanced carbon epoxy composites.
The electric motorglider can be used as a multifunctional flying laboratory for flight research and student education.
The AOS-71 project and its continuation are a valuable example of involving aerospace students in each phase of the aircraft life cycle. It also contributes to the research in the field of using innovative electrical propulsion systems in aircraft designs.
The work was supported by the NCRD, Poland, contract no. KB/68/12823/IT1-B/U/08, PBS1/B6/1/2012 and PBS3/A6/24/2015, as well as the budget of Warsaw University of Technology and Rzeszow University of Technology.
Marjanowski, J., Tomasiewicz, J. and Frączek, W. (2017), "The electric-powered motorglider AOS-71 – the study of development", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 89 No. 4, pp. 579-589. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-11-2016-0218
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