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Airplane Wing Challenge

General Dynamics

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Interview with Engineering Manager

Aug. 28, 2020


A student interested in aerospace engineering is looking to design their own UAV. They have developed a set of criteria and specifications for the drone but having limited knowledge in the design of airplane wings, have approached you for guidance.


Who can participate

GD is looking for their next Control systems Co-Op. They are looking for students currently enrolled in 3rd or 4th year of an Engineering program (Electrical, Mechanical, Software, Mechatronics, etc.). You must be able to commit for a 12 month long internship and must be enrolled within a Co-Op program.


Challenge Description 


Using the constraints given, you are tasked with providing a recommendation for the chord length and span of the drone wing to optimize the lift-drag force ratio. You may choose to compromise this ratio to improve structural integrity of the wing, improve the drone performance, etc. Additional advice regarding the wing shape would also be useful.

1. Propose chord length (C) and span (S) for a simple rectangular wing, symmetric airfoil
2. Propose an alternate shape of the drone wing (optional)


  1. Due to the experimental nature of airfoil design (often tested in wind tunnels to obtain performance values), your analysis is expected to be approximate and assumptions can be made with the appropriate justification

  2. Your analysis only needs to consider the drone wing (do not worry about the drone body)

  3. Analysis is for cruise condition

  4. Planform Area (AP) of the wing should be between 4-6 & m2 total

  5. Lift Coefficient (CL) is approximately 1.0

  6. Drag Coefficient - skin friction/form (CD0) is approximately 0.05



Submission Requirements 

  1. You may communicate your design solution using any CAD software, sketches, simulations, etc.

  2. Consider submitting a PowerPoint or similar document with your design which explains your design, calculations, reason for certain choices, etc.

  3. Round all values needed for calculation purposes to 3 significant digits 

  4. You may create an appendix to place all your calculations and any tables needed for your personal solution 



Completing in this General Dyamics Challenge could win you an interview with the Engineering Manager!

  • This interview will be for a year long Co-Op with one of Canada's leading defense companies

  • 3-5 Paricipaints will be chosen as winners 

  • You will be emailed about your entry and if you are one of the winners

  • Interviews will take place near the end of August 

Job Description

About General Dynamics



From integrated mission systems for maritime patrol aircraft to Tactical CIS for command post vehicles, our customers expect us to deliver unique products of the highest value. When you join our team, you and your colleagues will develop customized solutions to meet the most demanding requirements.