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In response to the 2021 AIAA Undergraduate Team Aircraft Design Competition request for proposals, Team Angry Geese of the University of Alabama in Huntsville has developed a conceptual design, the “Golden Egg”, an affordable light attack aircraft that can operate from short, austere fields and replace current helicopters in performing close air support missions. The aircraft must carry a crew of two, an integrated gun for ground targets, and at least 3000 pounds of armament. The aircraft must accomplish an attack mission with a full weapons load and a long-range ferry mission with a 60% weapons load. Additional design goals include enhanced survivability, the capability to deploy a variety of missiles, rockets, and bombs, and producing a “best-value” design that considers acquisition and operational costs. The baseline concept was developed after reviewing the design and performance of similar attack aircraft and helicopters. The current design has a streamlined body with an aspect ratio 6 tapered wing, a H-tail, and tricycle landing gear. An integrated F-404 turbofan engine allows the aircraft to meet flight requirements especially with its intake uniquely placed on top of the fuselage to mitigate potential debris hazards. The armament includes an integrated 20 mm gun and a combination of missiles and guided bombs. This initial design is estimated to weigh just under 24,407 lbf. Strategic material selection is currently being performed to reduce weight with structural strength, cost, and survivability in mind.

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The Golden Egg: An Austere Field Light Attack Aircraft Team Angry Geese

In response to the 2021 AIAA Undergraduate Team Aircraft Design Competition request for proposals, Team Angry Geese of the University of Alabama in Huntsville has developed a conceptual design, the “Golden Egg”, an affordable light attack aircraft that can operate from short, austere fields and replace current helicopters in performing close air support missions. The aircraft must carry a crew of two, an integrated gun for ground targets, and at least 3000 pounds of armament. The aircraft must accomplish an attack mission with a full weapons load and a long-range ferry mission with a 60% weapons load. Additional design goals include enhanced survivability, the capability to deploy a variety of missiles, rockets, and bombs, and producing a “best-value” design that considers acquisition and operational costs. The baseline concept was developed after reviewing the design and performance of similar attack aircraft and helicopters. The current design has a streamlined body with an aspect ratio 6 tapered wing, a H-tail, and tricycle landing gear. An integrated F-404 turbofan engine allows the aircraft to meet flight requirements especially with its intake uniquely placed on top of the fuselage to mitigate potential debris hazards. The armament includes an integrated 20 mm gun and a combination of missiles and guided bombs. This initial design is estimated to weigh just under 24,407 lbf. Strategic material selection is currently being performed to reduce weight with structural strength, cost, and survivability in mind.