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The WickedAir senior design team at the University of Alabama in Huntsville is developing the preliminary design of an aircraft for the AIAA Undergraduate Team Aircraft Design Competition. The RFP calls for an affordable light attack aircraft capable of executing missions currently only feasible with attack helicopters. The aircraft must be able to operate from short austere fields and accommodate a crew of two. Additional design goals include enhanced survivability and the ability for deploying a variety of weapons including an integrated gun for ground targets. The aircraft must accomplish an attack mission with a full weapons load and a long-range ferry mission with a 60% weapons load. Through evaluation of existing attack aircraft and helicopters and initial trade studies, the team has produced a conceptual design for the ZA-13 “Aardvark”. The 12,000 lbf Aardvark has twin turboprop engines mounted on a 6.9 aspect ratio swept wing. Two sponsons offer weapons attachment points similar to those of a helicopter. This design offers low speed performance, a high payload capacity, and a short takeoff length. Specific consideration was given to the effects of foreign object debris and particulate matter pollution with regards to the lifespan and vulnerability of the aircraft in various austere environments. This paper summarizes the detailed design, cost analysis, and mission capabilities behind the current aircraft.

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Proposal for Austere Light Attack Aircraft – Project Aardvark

The WickedAir senior design team at the University of Alabama in Huntsville is developing the preliminary design of an aircraft for the AIAA Undergraduate Team Aircraft Design Competition. The RFP calls for an affordable light attack aircraft capable of executing missions currently only feasible with attack helicopters. The aircraft must be able to operate from short austere fields and accommodate a crew of two. Additional design goals include enhanced survivability and the ability for deploying a variety of weapons including an integrated gun for ground targets. The aircraft must accomplish an attack mission with a full weapons load and a long-range ferry mission with a 60% weapons load. Through evaluation of existing attack aircraft and helicopters and initial trade studies, the team has produced a conceptual design for the ZA-13 “Aardvark”. The 12,000 lbf Aardvark has twin turboprop engines mounted on a 6.9 aspect ratio swept wing. Two sponsons offer weapons attachment points similar to those of a helicopter. This design offers low speed performance, a high payload capacity, and a short takeoff length. Specific consideration was given to the effects of foreign object debris and particulate matter pollution with regards to the lifespan and vulnerability of the aircraft in various austere environments. This paper summarizes the detailed design, cost analysis, and mission capabilities behind the current aircraft.