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Dayton Engineer

School of Engineering It Flies Mark Sutkowy and Test Pilot 2016

It Flies! 2016 USA Competition

By Devon Florczak

Students design an aircraft of their choosing, and apply for the competition on the Merlin Flight Simulation website,  Once the competition entry is accepted, students must prepare a ten minute presentation explaining their design and its unique aspects, which is presented at the competition before test pilots fly the designs on the simulator.  Once the design has been flown, students speak with the test pilot on what went right or wrong with the design.

It Flies! is an exceptional opportunity for students looking to gain industrial experience with real time feedback.  Patricia Ferrer-Dalmau Font and Tomas Mackus from Manchester University, who shared first place with a fellow Manchester University team comprised of Cian Hanely, Matthew Hogg, and Mitchel Follett, explained that the competition is “challenging, but the experience is key because the ability to have your own design flown by a test pilot is something that is not an option for many people."  Cian Hanely, Matthew Hogg, and Mitchel Follett also elaborated that “this competition is unlike anything else because it is open to any student, where the student is able to design anything they like and then receive feedback from the pilot who actually flew the design."

The United States competition took place on Saturday, April 9, at the University of Dayton School of Engineering in the Merlin Flight Simulator Lab and the Innovation Center.  Awards were given out to Best Presentation, Most Innovative Design, Second Place, and a shared First Place.

Second Place was given to Mark Sutkowy from the University of Dayton, who designed a light sport aircraft.

Co-First Place, worth $400 sponsored by the Merlin Flight Simulation Group, was awarded to Patricia Ferrer-Dalmau Font and Tomas Mackus of Manchester University, who designed a forward swept wing fighter jet.

The Best Presentation Prize, Most Innovative Design Prize worth $200 sponsored by Diamond Visionics, and Co-First Place worth $400 sponsored once again by the Merlin Flight Simulation Group, was won by Manchester’s rotary wing design team, consisting of Cian Hanley, Matthew Hogg, and Mitchell Follett.  For the first time in It Flies! history, a helicopter was designed and placed into the competition.

The It Flies! Merlin Flight Simulation UK Competition will be held Thursday, June 9, at the College of Engineering, at Swansea University’s new Bay Campus.



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