Team Members

Team Members


The goal of the Gator-Aid group was to create a fast-response, firefighting-specific aircraft that fills the void between light and heavy payload tankers. Meeting the AIAA requirements, the Phoenix Tanker will have an 8000-gallon fire retardant payload capacity with a payload range of at least 400 nautical miles and the ability to deploy payload at a drop speed of 150 knots. Piloted by a crew of 2, the dual PW1133G/2-JM engines providing 36,580 lbf of thrust each will propel the Phoenix Tanker to a cruise speed of 430 knots at a cruise altitude of 35,000 ft. Using an XFLR5 aerodynamic analysis, an AH 82-150 A airfoil integrated into our wing design was found to produce the greatest lift at angles of attack reasonable for takeoff, cruise, and landing. From this, an AH 82-150 A airfoil was used for the main wing. The unique T-tail configuration was utilized for our aircraft to reduce the effects of downwash from the high mounted wings on the horizontal tail. A stress analysis using SolidWorks was performed to ensure the structural integrity of the main wing spar, with mechanics of material methods used to verify other key structural components. A blend of carbon fiber and aircraft grade aluminum was used for the varying structural components of the aircraft. The final design of the Phoenix Tanker yielded a tip to tail length of 144 ft, a wingspan of 132.8 ft, and a maximum takeoff weight of 221,845 lb with a cost per unit of $183.6 million.

Group Poster