GAMA Names 2022 Aviation Design Challenge Winners


The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has named the team from Cheektowaga, New York’s Erie 1 BOCES Harkness Career and Technical Center as the winner of its annual high school Aviation Design Challenge. Second place was awarded to a team from Raisbeck Aviation High School in Tukwila, Washington. According to GAMA, more than 65 high school teams representing 28 states participated in the 2022 challenge.

“It is inspiring to see teams from all over the country put forth such great effort into the Aviation Design Challenge,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “We are particularly proud of the work put forth by the teams from Harkness Career and Technical Center and Raisbeck Aviation High School and look forward to rewarding these teams with additional exceptional experiences which will continue to foster interest into all aspects of general aviation.”

Currently in its tenth year, GAMA’s Aviation Design Challenge provides the “Fly to Learn” curriculum to participating teams, who then apply what they have learned by modifying a virtual airplane design using X-Plane software. The teams compete in a virtual fly-off and are scored based on based on the aircraft’s performance parameters, a checklist of the steps involved in the demonstration flight and a video submission where the team summarizes what they have learned. The mission for the 2022 challenge was to modify a CubCrafters NX Cub to fly from Seattle, Washington, to Packwood, Washington, while efficiently delivering a maximum payload.

The prize for the first-place team includes a CubCrafters Manufacturing Experience, tours of Boeing and Signature Aviation facilities and demonstration flight opportunities. The second-place team will receive a Redbird Flight Simulations STEM Lab. The GAMA Aviation Design Challenge is sponsored by companies including Boeing, Bombardier, Cirrus Aircraft, CubCrafters, Embraer, Garmin, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Hartzell Propeller, Jet Aviation, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Redbird Flight Simulations, Signature Aviation, Textron Aviation and Wipaire.

Kate O'Connor
Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. Good to see that young people are still interested in light aircraft design. Did they actually build and fly their designs? A large-scale R/C plane is not that hard to make and would give realistic results. The computer can only approximate reality. The picture here shows the reality of aeronautical engineering – despite all the attention the past half century paid to promote the career to young ladies, it remains largely the domain of men. Instead of wasting all the money for scholarships, special programs, societies, etc. aimed at the select group, the weaker sex, we should recognize that men and women are wired from conception differently. There haven’t been impediments to women flying or designing aircraft in maybe a century, yet various groups keep pursuing the irrational ideas of DEI. Equal opportunities does not equate to equal outcomes. Men and women are different, God planned it that way.

    • “the weaker sex”, and “There haven’t been impediments to women flying or designing aircraft in maybe a century”. Those two phrases alone exhibit exactly the kind of impediments women have encountered, and continue to encounter, in flying and designing aircraft, and in pursuing countless other opportunities for which they are qualified, if only folks like you would get the heck out of their way.