Let’s fly together: the joanneum Aeronautics

Written by: Lucas Kappel, Mar 21, 2022

Hello! My name is Lucas Kappel and I am a resident at STUWO dormitory Smart Living in Graz. Today I would like to invite you to explore the world of aviation with me. Flying – that’s my big passion! That’s why today’s article’s motto is “Let’s fly together!”. I present to you the joaneum Aeronautics!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been dreaming of flying. That’s why I started the bachelor degree “Aviation” in 2018 at the FH Joanneum in Graz. I’ve been living in the STUWO dormitory Smart Living since the second term and each day I am looking forward to returning to my apartment.

During my studies I had the opportunity to get my Private Pilot License and to take some first professional steps in the aviation industry during an internship.

Thanks to the great organisation at STUWO, I was able to live in the STUWO dormitory Dückegasse in Vienna during my internship and move back to Graz afterwards.

2021 I finished my bachelor’s degree and started my master’s degree of the same name. This brings me to the presentation of our fascinating project and our student union, the joanneum Aeronautics.

At the joanneum Aeronautics we are all aviation enthusiasts, who have passion and interest for this field and the technology behind it. We are easily recognisable because we are usually looking upwards into the sky searching for planes or are running to the window as soon as we hear a helicopter.

We are students from the bachelor and master’s degrees Aviation at the FH Joanneum. But first and foremost, we are motivated club members who put the knowledge from their studies into practice in various projects. Our club has three active teams: Team Drone Tech (TDT), Laviators and the Design Build Fly (DBF) Team.

My big goal: USA!

More precisely, the DBF contest in Wichita, Kansas. DBF stands for Design, Build and Fly. The goal is to design, build and fly an unmanned aircraft. The DBF team was founded with the specific purpose of participating the DBF contest of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). The AIAA sets strict and extensive rules for the contest each year.

To successfully finish the contest the teams have to complete three flight missions and one ground mission. Then a jury evaluates the missions of all teams – may the best team win!

In order to even participate, each interested team has to hand in a Design Proposal with the most important information regarding the design of their UAV. This proposal is accompanied by a list of team members.

Each year hundreds of teams from universities all over the world apply. The 110 best teams from all the applicants are invited to write a Design Report and are potentially electable for the Fly-Offs in the USA.

In previous years, the DBF Team travelled to the USA and represented Austria brilliantly. In 2019 it reached its best result making the 3rd place.

This year’s contest will be an interesting challenge – as always! This year’s goal is to design, build and test an UAV for delivering vaccines. This mission consist of one flight without actual load, the transport of syringes in containers as well as a full-automatic deposit of the load without manual intervention. We applied for the contest with our design proposal this year again and have already received the admission to the contest in the USA.

We are currently working on building our UAV and have even done some test flights. However, designing, building and flying our UAVs is not the only important thing. Management such as planning travels and events, writing and carefully maintaining the project report as well as organising sponsors and supporters is crucial.

My task as sub team leader is mainly fundraising. Because of COVID, I work mostly online from my STUWO apartment. Thanks to the great location close to FH Joanneum, I only need ten minutes to help build the UAV in our aviation laboratory.

Together with the other members of the joanneum Aeronautics I cannot wait for April 2022 and the travel to Wichita, Kansas. I am looking forward to the contest against other international teams, where we can prove that our UAV is one of the best.

I hope you enjoyed this little presentation of our club and I wish you a lot of fun for flying through this term!

PS: I want to draw your attention to your blog “Hangartalk” on the website of FH Joanneum that is published monthly. We are also on known social media.


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