Aero Senior Design



Aero Senior Design course is a two-semester capstone design experience to design, simulate, manufacture, assemble and test a radio controlled airplane. Understanding and employing advanced mathematical fundamentals, usage of proper software, modeling, simulation, and experimental tests are of objectives of the course. Team work, time management, cost management, and systemic design are part of practices throughout the project, while preparing repots, having presentations, and attending different competitions.



Fall 2021-Spring 2022






California wildfires are becoming an increasingly pressing issue. Mobilization of resources can be difficult while fighting wildfires; this makes it necessary to develop more options for reducing mobilization time. CSUN Aero students were passionate to develop a solution to this issue; an aircraft and ground vehicle system that autonomously fights wildfires. Through this interdisciplinary project, Aero Senior design students designed, tested, and manufactured a 55lb cargo aircraft, a powered autonomous delivery aircraft (PADA) and an autonomous ground water transport vehicle (GTV). This three vehicle system, models a scaled down firefighting operation during the International SAE Aero Design West competition. Using an ambitious flying-wing/ blended-body aircraft design, the team won two awards in the competition.


Aero Senior Design team won 2 awards in 2022 International SAE Aero West Competition:


·      2nd Place Award for Mission Performance

·      3rd Place Award for Technical Presentation


The team participated in the Advanced Class which is the most challenging category in the competition.




The team also received 3 First Place awards in 2022 CSUNPosium.

·      First Place, Hamza Abdullah and Erick Navarro-Hernandez (Undergraduate Students, Aero Senior Design), "Aerodynamic Characteristics of Horizontal and Vertical Tails".

·      First Place, Christopher Gonzalez (Undergraduate Student, Aero Senior Design), "Optimization of Electronic Control Systems".

·      First Place, Sara Khan and Noe Diaz  (Undergraduate Students, Aero Senior Design), "Aerodynamics Analysis of a Powered Autonomous Delivery Aircraft"


For more info about the team, please check:





Fall 2020-Spring 2021

Aero Senior Design 2020-21 team won the First Place in Mechanical Eng. in Senior Design Project Showcase (SDPS).


The team won 4th Place in presentation in 2021 International SAE Aero competition (Advanced class).


The students also received 3 Awards (1st and 2nd places) in 2021 CSUNPosium:

·      1st Place- Poster Presentation, Aero Senior Design: “Performance Study of Low Reynolds Number Eppler 423 Airfoil”, Presented by Isaac Chavez

·      2nd Place- Ten Minute Oral Presentation, Aero Senior Design: “Performance Study of a Lifting Fuselage”, Presented by Lorenzo Quijas and Tahir Quettawala

·      2nd Place- Three Minute Oral Presentation, Aero Senior Design: "FEA Analysis on the Colonist Delivery Aircraft Hook Mount”, Presented by Calvin Lau


The 2021 SDPS team presentation can be found in the following links: to an external site. 



Fall 2019-Spring 2020




SAE Aero Competition 2020

CSUN Aero senior design team participated in SAE International Aero Design East Competition in Lakeland, Florida, March 6-8, 2020. The competition consists of 3 classes and the team participated in Advance class which is the most challenging class. The SAE Aero Design competition is to design, manufacture, and test a radio controlled aircraft that can take off, land, and optimally meet the mission requirements. The designed primary aircraft in this project is equipped to deliver 14 Habitat Modules and 7 water bottles along with 3 CDAs each carrying 30 colonists. The guiding philosophy of the design process centers on mission-specific requirements. Integration of supply payload and CDAs was a cornerstone of this philosophy. Closed-form solutions were used to optimize design variables through iteration.

Details of competition and regulations can be found in


CSUN Senior Design Project Showcase (SDPS 2020)

The primary goal for CSUN Aeronautics is to safely deliver the maximum amount of colonist onto the surface of Mars while maximizing the total days of habitability, based on the Final Flight Score. This aircraft sacrifices a conventional structure for a payload oriented design driven by the SAE Aero Competition- Advanced Class mission objectives. Aerodynamics, structures, avionics, systems and integration, and manufacturing teams worked together to design an aircraft capable of meeting and exceeding mission expectations. Design constraints laid out by SAE Aero Design East Advanced Class include a maximum wingspan of 11 feet, 750 watt power limiter and a maximum take-off weight of 55 pounds. Final flight score is achieved by systematically releasing first the payload, consisting of water bottles and nerf howlers, followed by the autonomous gliders at specific altitudes onto a 50 foot radius target zone. This hands on experience emphasizes the importance of blending together teamwork, knowledge, and dedication.





Fall 2018-Spring 2019




Mission Statement

“The Red Genesis mission is to design and optimize an electric aircraft to transport colonists in autonomous gliders while also dropping food, shelter, and other supplies within a target area in order to make a terrain habitable.”


Design Philosophy

The design philosophy seeks to minimize the operating empty weight to ensure the aircraft can house the static payload, water supply, habitats, and the mounted Colonist Delivery Craft. The project requires the abilities and concepts learned from the foundational mechanical engineering program while necessitates experience working with composites and machining. Autonomous Colonist Delivery Craft also needs the understanding of GPS guidance systems, programming, and Mechatronics. The team members must be committed to a strict budget and task deadlines.


SAE Aero Competition 2019


CSUN Aero senior design team participated in SAE International Aero Design West Competition in Van Nuys, CA, April 5-7, 2019. The competition consists of 3 classes and the team participated in Advance class which is the most challenging class. CSUN Aero team got 4th position in Technical Design Report, 4th position in Technical Presentation, 8th position in Mission Performance through flight, and 12th position in overall.

Details of competition and regulations can be found in

2019 SAE Aero Design rules can be found at


CSUN Senior Design Project Showcase (SDPS 2019)

Project Description: The objective of the 2018-2019 CSUN Aero Senior Design Project is to apply engineering fundamentals, analysis skills, and software to an extensive design project with an emphasis in aerospace engineering. Some of the main topics that are addressed in the project are aerodynamics and aircraft design, aircraft structure, stability, propulsion, and flight systems. In this multi-disciplinary project, a new remote controlled aircraft is designed and manufactured to deliver some humanitarian payloads, including water bottles, nerf howlers, and autonomous gliders, into a targeted area. The aircraft is designed to fit the design constraints set by the SAE Aero West Advanced Class Competition, including Maximum 12 ft wingspan, 750 watt power limit for propulsion, and maximum take-off weight of 55 lbs. The payloads are used to achieve a score by systematically releasing them from specific altitudes onto targets. It is a hands-on experience emphasizing the importance of educational values and technology advances. For more info visit: