USU Wright Flyer Logo Header

Main Site : Our Project : Design Team
Design Team - Nick

Nick Alley
Project Manager

Nick is guiding Utah State's team effort to construct a replica of the 1905 Wright Flyer. A graduate student in mechanical and aerospace engineering, Nick is a native of Ogden, Utah and lists water and snow skiing, basketball and radio-controlled aircraft modeling as his hobbies.
"I love airplanes so when I heard about the project, I thought, 'Why not help design and build one?"

Weston Allen

Weston Allen

Weston shares more than an interest in aviation with Orville and Wilbur Wright. Like the famed brothers, he once made his living building custom bicycle frames. Weston lists his family, muscle cars, photography and videography as his top interests. And, yes, people often tell him he looks "just like Tom Hanks."
"I'm learning tons from the Wright Flyer project - software, aerodynamics, the history of early flight and the fabrication process for composites. It's a fascinating pursuit."

Design Team - Ben

Ben Case

A senior mechanical engineering major, Ben hails from Nampa, Idaho and enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking and other outdoor activities.
"I got involved with the Wright Flyer project to not only experience the design process but to observe the actual construction of the aircraft. Who wouldn't want to build an airplane?"

Design Team - David

David Christensen

David designed the plane's chassis, which consists of the landing skids and the struts that connect the canard and wings. The senior mechanical engineering major said designing an airplane that would pay tribute to 100 years of heavier than air flight and showcase Utah State's engineering efforts "was something I wanted to be a part of."
"This project is giving me great insight into system integration," says the Twin Falls, Idaho native. "We are all responsible for making our own contributions to the project fit into an integrated whole."

Design Team - Carson

Carson Esplin

Carson designed the wing structure for the USU Wright Flyer. A senior mechanical and aerospace engineering major, who is working toward a master's degree in the same field, Carson lists aircraft building and flying, computers, basketball, rock climbing, and snow boarding as his favorite pursuits.
"What am I learning from this project?" asks the Cedar City, Utah native. "The great 'joys' of engineering setbacks. Now that's 'real engineering'."

Design Team - Nick

Nick Filimoehala

A native of Logan, Utah, Nick says he's always had an interest in aviation and the Wright Flyer project "seemed like a good fit." A senior mechanical engineering major, Nick enjoys golf and travel.
"My main interest in this project is to have a better understanding of the beginnings of flight, and how it has evolved into what it is today."

Design Team - Wayne

Wayne Goodrich
Aerodynamic Design/Performance Analysis

A native of Othello, Washington, Wayne chose to join the Wright Flyer team because it "involved aerodynamics and offered a unique challenge." The senior mechanical and aerospace engineering major lists airplanes, mountain biking and the outdoors as top interests.
"From this project, we're learning teamwork. We're also tackling the challenge of designing an airplane that is safe and flyable for a human pilot."

Design Team - Amy

Amy Hintze
Structure/Drawing (Ideas, AutoCAD, Inventor)

Amy, a senior mechanical engineering major, designed the plane's cockpit and control mechanisms. A native of Manti, Utah, Amy enjoys flying model airplanes and "repairing them once they crash." She joined the Wright Flyer design team to pursue a project that would be "fun, exciting, hands-on and challenging."
"I've learned that there's an enormous amount of creativity and detail in design work. I'm also learning that mockup models and drawing packages are great tools for design, but on the 'real' plane nothing can be left out."

Design Team - Jonathan

Jonathan Holfeltz

Jonathan designed the control surfaces of the aircraft, including the rudder and canard.
He joined the Wright Flyer design team because "designing and building an ultralight airplane sounded so fun at the time." What he didn't realize was designing and building an ultralight is also "very difficult." The senior engineering major from Vernal, Utah has risen to the challenge, however, learning such software as Autodesk Inventor "the hard way." Jonathan praises project leaders Nick Alley and Dave Widauf for their helpful advice and enthusiasm.

"Dave Widauf has taught me a lot about the hands-on aspect of building composites; namely, foam wings," said Jonathan, who enjoys restoring and rebuilding classic cars and taking things apart to see how they work."

Nathan "Nate" Holman

Nate has been flying with his dad since he was a child, which may explain his lifelong interest in airplanes. So when the mechanical engineering senior heard about the Wright Flyer project he jumped at the chance to join the design team. Nate was responsible for canard airfoil design, as well as canard size and placement and pitch stability analysis.
"Since participating on the design team, I have a newfound respect for the designers of modern aircraft," said the Logan, Utah native, who lists water skiing, auto mechanics, building furniture and "fixing things" as his top interests.

Design Team - Adam

Marc Karpowich
Quarter Scale Design/Build Team Manager

Marc’s extensive background in remote controlled model aircraft made him the ideal candidate to lead team efforts in building a quarter scale model of the Wright Flyer replica. The flying model was featured at the DINOTEK technology exhibit during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah and will be used in educational outreach projects throughout the state. A native of Mahwah, New Jersey, Marc has a penchant for Harley Davidson motorcycles and just about anything that flys.
“Participating in the project is providing me with opportunities to learn more about the use of composite materials and the engineering of wing-warping,” said Marc, who is working toward a two-year associate degree in airframe and powerplant.

Design Team - Eric

Eric Peterson
Aerodynamics and Design

The son of a pilot, Eric has been interested in planes since childhood. The senior mechanical and aerospace engineering major is a native of Bluffdale, Utah and lists outdoor activities, sports, travel, fishing and reading as his favorite activities.
"Working as part of a team has accelerated my learning and understanding of aircraft design. By working with deadlines, we've learned to better manage our time and work as efficiently as possible."

Design Team - Adam

Adam Richards
Aerodynamic Design

A native of Naples, Utah (pop. 1,334), Adam is a senior majoring in mechanical and aerospace engineering. Propulsion, drag and performance occupied the soccer enthusiast's thoughts as he worked with team members on the aircraft's design. An active member of Utah State's American Society of Mechanical Engineers student chapter, Adam says he's learning a lot about aircraft analysis from the project.
"I've long been interested in the Wright brothers' experiences. This is a great chance to design a new, different, actual airplane."

SDL Logo USU Logo US Air Force Logo US Centennial of Flight Commission Logo

Copyright ©2002 USU Wright Flyer. All rights reserved.
2460 Greentree Road • Lebanon, Ohio 45036





Home Contact Information Site Map