Monday, May 22, 2017

18-Year-Old Engineer Constructs Fuel-Efficient, Stable ‘Flying Wing’ Aircraft Prototype

Ivo Zell, 18, of Lorch, Germany was awarded first place for designing and constructing a remote control prototype of a new “flying wing” aircraft at this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public and the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. The competition featured nearly 1,800 young scientists selected from 425 affiliate fairs in 78 countries, regions and territories.

Flying wings are inherently more efficient than traditional aircraft designs, but also less stable in flight because they have little or no fuselage or tail. Zell’s working prototype aircraft addresses this issue, using an unusual bell-shaped lift profile for improved stability and using telemetry to demonstrate its stability. The modified shape of Zell’s aircraft allows it to operate smoothly and safely in challenging flight situations without the need for a complex electronic stabilization system and without significantly sacrificing fuel efficiency. Potential applications range from drone delivery systems to larger aircraft design. Zell received the Gordon E. Moore Award of US$75,000, named in honor of the Intel co-founder and fellow scientist.