GAMA Names 2023 Aviation Design Challenge Winners


A team from Peachtree City, Georgia’s McIntosh High School has won the 2023 General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) Aviation Design Challenge. Second place was awarded to the Gonzaga College High School team from Washington, D.C. More than 80 high school teams representing 38 states competed in the challenge, which is now in its 11th year.

“GAMA continues to be inspired by the effort and creativity we see put forth by all the teams competing in the Aviation Design Challenge,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce. “We congratulate McIntosh High School and Gonzaga College High School for the insightful work they put into the challenge, especially as both teams were first time entrants.”

To compete in the Aviation Design Challenge, teams receive GAMA’s “Fly to Learn” curriculum and then apply what they’ve learned by modifying a virtual airplane design using X-Plane software. For the 2023 event, students were tasked with modifying a CubCrafters NX Cub with the goal off flying from Packwood, Washington, to Seattle, Washington, as quickly and efficiently as possible. Teams were scored based on performance parameters, a checklist of steps related to a virtual demonstration flight and a video submission summarizing what they learned.

The first-place team will receive a CubCrafters Manufacturing Experience, a tour of The Museum of Flight and demonstration flight opportunities. The second-place team will take part in a Redbird Flight Simulations STEM Lab. Sponsors for the 2023 Aviation Design Challenge include Boeing, Bombardier, Cirrus Aircraft, CubCrafters, Embraer, Garmin, Hartzell Propeller, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Redbird Flight, 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.

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