How it Began:

In 1986, SAE International set out to provide students with the opportunity to solve real
world aerospace engineering challenges.

Each year since then, a competition has been held wherein student teams are given mission requirements and limitations, designed by SAE International, that mirror real world scenarios. The teams are evaluated on how well their design meets these challenges, as well as upon their ability to communicate their solution. As a final product, each team is required to build and test a final design for each class, write out a design report, and make an oral presentation outlining their findings and accomplishments. This year, 150 teams of college students will gather from all over the world to participate in an SAE Aero Design Challenge. Texas A&M’s SAE Aero Design Team will again participate the SAE Aero Design competition. Our goals are to develop our own design and communication skills as we help to make air transport safer and more efficient. 

SAE Aero Design Competition Information:

Mission Statement:
The SAE Aero Design competition is a real‐world design challenge designed to compress a typical aircraft development program into one calendar year, taking participants through the system engineering process of breaking down requirements. It exposes participants to the nuances of conceptual design, manufacturing, system integration/test, and sell‐off through demonstration.

2018-2019 Team

THE 2016 & 2017 A&M AIRCRAFTS:

In the past years, the SAE Aero Design Team at Texas A&M had remarkable accomplishments in both the design and the presentation sectors of the Aero Design Competition. The Regular class aircraft was tasked with maximizing possible volume of passengers and luggage while limiting the take-off distance and power plant requirements. The final product was a sleek and efficient aircraft with optimum controllability. The aircraft had a factor of safety ranging from 1.3 to 2 as to ensure reliability in case of material inconsistencies, proving its preparation for unexpected emergency. In addition, the team was able to optimize the weight to material used ratio, ultimately maximizing the cost efficiency of the product while not sacrificing reliability nor adaptability.

The Micro class team was tasked with designing an aircraft that would maximize payload fraction and minimize carrying tube length. The final design presented was an ultralight glider utilizing a Rogallo Wing, which resulted in an increased control authority. The design proved to be efficient in flight as well as optimized for easy deployment and portability.


Texas A&M’s Aero Design Team is one committed to excellence. Every year, while competing against 75 teams world wide, our Aero Design Team has continuously proven to be one of the best in the nation. Some of our noteworthy awards received in competition over the last four years include:

  • 2017 Regular: First in Design Report, Second Overall, First in Oral Presentation, Top Ranked American Team

  • 2016 Regular: Second in Design Report

  • 2015 Regular: 3rd in Design Report (Top Ranked US Team)

  • 2014 Regular: First Overall, First in Oral Presentation, Second in Design Report

Competition Details:

  • Put into three categories

  • Flight

  • Design Report

  • Oral Report

Thanks to our sponsors for making this project possible!

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