EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Four University of Southern Indiana students got second place in the sixth annual 3D Printed Aircraft Competition.

USI says Joel Knackmuhs, Landon Mayer, Glen Rouch and Isaac Whitehead, all Spring 2022 mechanical engineering USI graduates, designed and built multiple iterations of an aircraft design as part of their senior design project, with help from Dr. Jul Davis, Associate Professor of Engineering, and Dr. Todd Nelson, Assistant Professor of Engineering.  

A press release says the competition consisted of student teams designing a small aircraft with a lightweight, 3D-printed airframe. Each team’s aircraft had three attempts to achieve the longest flight time, with the constraint that only eight seconds of powered flight was allowed per flight. The team placed second in the fixed wing category with their best flight time of 9.17 seconds. The competition hosted 16 student teams from around the nation. The team from USI won a $500 prize.

“Sometimes, you just know when a team will be successful, and it was exactly the case with this team,” Davis says. “Everyone’s ability to work well together, learn new things on their own and their interest in—and dedication to—the project were all key components of their success. There is no doubt in my mind each of these students will be successful in their future endeavors.”