Mechanical Engineers graduating from the Hellenic Air Force Academy (HAFA), are initially appointed in a military squadron, to support and manage the aircraft maintenance workload. Throughout their career, they will at some point, be appointed in a procurement or in a research department, where they will need to have an integral understanding of how a certain aircraft in conjunction with its propulsion system, can meet prescribed operational needs. The syllabus of the Mechanical Engineering degree offered at the HAFA, encompasses several modules related to Aircraft Design, Material Science and Propulsion Systems. The Aircraft Design Project (ADP) presented herein, aims to stimulate the cadets in applying a diverse field of knowledge on a single application, building thus soon enough the missing communication link between those who deal with the power plant and those who deal with the aircraft design. The assignment input is only confined in a short description of the operational profile of an Unmanned Air Vehicle (UAV) to be designed. A number of teams are formed which act competitively and develop a design proposal, each one for its own sake. As part of the project, they also have to print a 3D mock-up and do a testing in the wind tunnel operated within the HAFA. Finally, each team has the obligation to defend its design in front of an audience consisting of HAF military officers, HAFA academics and delegates from industries. The proposed exercise constitutes a novel conception of coursework type, extending over one year, engaging three Academic Sectors and aiming to achieve the following educational targets: a) Learn to work in a team within a competitive environment. Each cadet has to collaborate with his teammates and compete with the members of the other team(s). b) Combine and apply knowledge acquired from various scientific fields. c) Learn how to “sell” a product to a diverse audience being interested in engineering excellence (academia) cost effectiveness (industry) and degree of compliance with operational needs (military).

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