Imperial College London

Imperial team awarded second prize in RAeS aircraft design competition


An aircraft in flight

A team of Aeronautics students has been awarded second place in this year's International General Aviation Aircraft Design Competition.

The event was hosted by the Royal Aeronautical Society, and results were announced at the annual RAeS Light Aircraft Design Conference. The RAeS design competition aims to promote major innovation in the general aviation aircraft sector.

The Imperial team, mainly consisting of third-year Aeronautical Engineering undergraduates, finished their designs while in their second-year.

Team lead Gengyuan Liu says “The whole team is ecstatic to have come in second place. Most of us didn’t quite expect to even make it into the top three, since we were competing against companies and professional engineers."

Image of the team’s design render
Image of the team’s design render


Design Brief

This year’s brief imagined a hurricane has just swept across the Caribbean island of Dominica, destroying almost all buildings and blocking most roads. Those injured need to be taken to hospitals on neighbouring islands.

Teams were required to design a vertical take-off, electric aircraft to evacuate the injured islanders.

Gengyuan adds “The overall experience of working in this team over Discord and Microsoft Teams has been a lot of fun. It was very satisfying to see the final design in a render, and even more satisfying to see our design actually work in X-Plane.”

“We are also very grateful to RAeS and all the sponsors of this competition for this opportunity to compete. Speaking for myself, I am very proud of the team's achievement, but I am even prouder of how we managed to stick together and pull through when major problems were encountered close to the deadline.”

Imperial’s team consisted of:

  • Robert Liu Geng Yuan: Team Lead, wing design lead, fuselage design, computing.
  • Palash Mattoo: Powertrain and Fuselage design, designed the propeller retraction, collective, cyclic mechanism.
  • Uddeshya Saini: Landing gear design.
  • Ryan Ma Ho Yin: Landing gear design, computing, X-Plane modelling, Lead test pilot, range estimation
  • Pablo De Felipe: X-Plane modelling lead, empennage design lead, control surface design.
  • Isaac Santos: Computing, Stability analysis, XFOIL analysis.
  • Ray Asahara Thio: Powertrain and systems lead, Range estimation.
  • George Ge: Boom design Lead, CFD analysis,  tilt mechanisms, flight deck design and avionics selection


Tom Creese

Tom Creese
Department of Aeronautics

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