MEAM.Design - IPD 501 - P5: Fly!


Teams of 4. Carbon fiber. Radio control. Long-burn solid-propellant rocket motors. Yes, it's time to build ourselves some awesome airplanes.


Mar 4, 4:30 p.m.      The project begins
Mar 5, 4:30 p.m. Mission Statement & Flowchart due (email attachments)
Mar 16, 6:00 p.m. Initial Concepts Due (in-class presentation)
Mar 18, 4:30 p.m. R/C component orders (email)
Apr 1, 4:30 p.m. Flight testing

Team Formation

We will be working in two teams of four on this project. You will need to select your team before the end of class on Thursday, March 4th.


We will be operating this project as a simulated tech-sector startup firm. To get your project off the ground, a group of angel investors have agreed to give each team $250 for 40% ownership equity and two seats on the board (the terms of this deal have been finalized and are non-negotiable). You must decide how you will split up the remaining equity amongst your four team members.

Mission Statement

Before you can move forward on the design of your aircraft, you need to set the mission for your team and project. This mission will also be critical if/when you need to seek additional rounds of financing.


You have a little less than a month to complete this project, and one week will essentially be lost to Spring break. As a team, you need to lay out a flowchart with clear deadlines that will have you flight-ready on April 1st. Alongside the flowchart, you should briefly list the immediate requirements and expected results of each item.

Initial Concepts

During studio on Tuesday, March 16th, your team will have 10 minutes to present your mission, a proposed budget, and how you will meet the goals that you've set. This presentation will take place in the presence of your investors and technical experts in the fields of mechanical design and aerodynamics.


Conveniently, the small warehouse where your team is working happens be next door to a small aerospace supply company. Walking in the door one day, you happen to see the following items available for sale:

Aerotech RMS-R/C24 aluminium motor casing 24mm OD, 69mm long, 30.5 grams $73.79 (max 2 per team)
Aerotech E6-RCT solid propellant reload cartridge 40N-sec impulse, 21.5 grams () $5.83 (max 12 per team)
Futaba T-6 EXP radio-control transmitter and R156F Receiver 6 channels, 2.4GHz FREE! (to borrow)
11.0oz unidirectional graphite/polyester tape 13" wide, 12K tow, 0.021" thick $13.50/yard
5.7 oz, 2x2 twill carbon fiber 40" wide, 3K tow, 0.010" thick $24/yard
perforated release film 54" wide, 1/2" hole spacing, 0.002" thick $5.00/yard
Peel-ply release fabric 60" wide $5.50/yard
Bleeder/breather absorber cloth 60" wide $4.00/yard
2"-thick MDF $4.00/square-foot
3/4"-thick MDF $1.00/square-foot
2"-thick foam acetone-dissolvable $1.50/square-foot
Lifesize Libert $Priceless
3D printing ivory or black $5.00/cubic-inch + $0.50/hour

As you leave the shop one day, you also notice that they have a free-shipping/no-tax arrangement with a number of other suppliers, including eHobbies, towerhobbies, and others upon request. To place orders, all you need to do is send an email to their headquarters at entitled "501P5-order" containing all of the details.

Note - orders for any radio-control components must be placed by 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 18th.


You can use any of the equipment discussed thusfar to manufacturing parts or molds for your design. All Haas code (MiniMill or TL-1) must be checked over twice - first by a teammate, then by one of your "investors".

Flight Testing

Your investors have set a flight-test deadline of 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 1st. Missing this deadline will result in the forfeiture of all equity.*

*This does not apply to gliders whose geometric configuration will change mid-flight. Due to the added complexity, any team intrepid enough to venture down this path will have unlimited time to complete their rocket.