Main Site : Our Project : Design Team
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 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."
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?"
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
"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
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'."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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.
Marcs 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
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
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."
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
"I've long been interested in the Wright brothers' experiences.
This is a great chance to design a new, different, actual airplane."