The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has announced Hayesville High School as the winner of its 2019 Aviation Design Challenge competition. As their prize, four students, one teacher, and one chaperone from the Hayesville, North Carolina, high school will be taking an all-expenses-paid trip to help build an airplane at Glasair Aviation in Arlington, Washington, from June 10 to June 22. 2018 Design Challenge winners Erie 1 BOCES Harkness Career and Technical Center in Cheektowaga, New York, placed second this year. They will receive a two-day Redbird Flight Simulations Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Lab Camp, hosted at their high school campus.
136 high schools were registered for the 2019 competition. “Our team of engineers serving as judges were extremely impressed with the quality of the designs submitted in this year’s competition,” said GAMA CEO Pete Bunce. “We look forward to working with these young people and teaching them more about the exciting world of aviation through the unique experiences of the Glasair Sportsman build and Redbird STEM camp.”
The Aviation Design Challenge was created in 2013 to promote STEM education at the high school level. Once registered for the competition, schools receive GAMA’s “Fly to Learn” curricula and flight simulation software powered by X-Plane. After completing the four- to six-week classroom program, students use the software to modify a virtual airplane based on what they’ve learned. According to GAMA, the designs then compete in a virtual “fly-off” that is “scored on aerodynamic and performance parameters while flying a specific mission profile.” In addition to Glasair and Redbird, companies sponsoring the competition this year include Boeing Global Services, Bombardier Business Aircraft, Cirrus Aircraft, Dassault Falcon, Embraer, ForeFlight, Garmin, GE Aviation, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Hartzell Propeller, Lycoming Engines, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Textron Aviation, Uber and Wipaire.