By Vee Glessner, Chief Copy Editor
AE Aero capstone team “CABAGE” (CArrier Based Advanced GEneration multi-role fighter project) is creating a multi-role fighter aircraft to replace the Super Hornet fleet with an aircraft at a more affordable price point than the F-35C. The design will, according to the team’s Request for Proposal, sacrifice some stealth capabilities in favor of functional characteristics such as speed, range, weight, maintainability, and most importantly, cost.
The requirements for this model are a Mach 2 supercruise, a maximum speed of at least Mach 2.5, a range of 1600 nautical miles, and that it be CATORBAR (Catapult Assisted Takeoff, Barrier Arrested Recovery) capable.
Like other AE Aero teams, CABAGE only routinely meets twice a week in person to brief their professor, Dr. Johann Dorfling, on their progress. “This has prompted us to use a Scaled Modified Scrum Agile approach for our work. Instead of meeting in person daily, we hold a “Daily Scrum” via Teams,” says team lead Robert Hudson.
However, they’ve made good progress and have already completed one round of wind tunnel tests. “Our team completed our first round of testing on our 3.86% scale model and found a couple aspects of our design that we need to take a closer look at,” Hudson says. They’re now resizing the tail and getting it recut at AXFAB before moving into a second round of tests.
CABAGE did face a major setback in the design process, according to Hudson: originally, they had selected an all-moving v-tail design for the aircraft, but that caused serious instability at low speeds. “Most of our great design work was for naught as we had to make a myriad of adjustments at the end of last semester and the beginning of this semester to ensure our aircraft was stable.” Ultimately, the team decided on a “tail-less” design, which utilizes only the vertical tail to maintain stability.
CABAGE is thrilled with their progress and excited to have a unique accomplishment under their belt. “We will be one of the few teams to obtain two sets of wind tunnel data!”, says Hudson. The team would like to thank Dr. Morris, Dr. Dorfling, Dr. Beck, Dr. Mangum, Dr. Ashworth, Dr. Haven, Dr. Traub, Dr. Bruder, Dr. Bennet, Dr. Bordignon, Professor Zwick, Dr. Madler, the other AE Aero capstone teams, and everyone else who has supposed them so far.