Dean's Message
Spring 2015 No.26
Students Soar in National Aircraft Design Competition
Five Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering undergraduates achieved remarkable success against more than 150 other teams by gaining second place in the first and largest national aircraft design competition organized by the Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC).
Students Haoran Chen, Chi Cheung Choi, Michelle Jia Ying Lee, Yuyang Xie and Yuanhang Zhu created a two-seater amphibious aircraft, named "Soaring Dragon". The plane features a pair of hydrofoils that minimize take-off distance on water, a downward folding wing tip that warns pilots of water breaches, and foldable wings for flexible movement and storage on the ground. The students spent a month constructing a 1:10 model for the competition, which has been on display at China Aviation Industry General Aircraft’s (CAIGA) headquarters in Zhuhai. 
At the contest, the undergraduate team, competing mainly against postgraduate students and professionals, co-won the first runner-up with a team from a research center under CAIGA and came second to a 10-member team from Beihang University.
Executive Vice-President and Provost Prof Wei Shyy, who is also an accomplished aerospace engineer, said the University was committed to helping young people in Hong Kong fulfil their passion to design and build new flight vehicles. The five students have been interested in aircraft modeling since they were small and are all determined to pursue a career in aerospace engineering. They initiated an Aeronautics Interest Group three years ago and have participated in many international aircraft building contests, including Design/Build/Fly hosted by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Fly Your Ideas by Airbus.
The School of Engineering has been actively pursuing research collaborations and technological exchanges with the aviation industry, and under the joint sponsorship of Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Fund, AVIC has supported multiple projects of the University over the past two years.