What We Do

The Hardware Team makes sure that all the code written by the Software Team actually gets into the air. We design and build the physical components of PennAIR’s fixed-wing and multicopter aircraft.

How We Do It

The design of fixed-wing and multicopter aircraft is primarily dependent on skills learned throughout a Mechanical Engineering curriculum. Using CAD, performing structures and aerodynamics modeling, and fabrication make up the bulk of what we do on a day-to-day basis.  

  • CAD (Computer-Aided Design): We use primarily use Solidworks to create complex geometries in order to meet the goals of a competition.
  • Modeling: Design choices should be justified by some kind of model, either solved with simple pen-and-paper calculations, or with more advanced simulation like ANSYS Fluent or ANSYS Structures.
  • Fabrication: Being able to quickly create prototype components allows us to create more design iterations, which ultimately results in a better aircraft. We utilize skills such as CNC milling, laser cutting, 3D printing, composites construction, and good old-fashioned woodworking.