UM Today UM Today University of Manitoba UM Today UM Today UM Today
News from
Price Faculty of Engineering
UM Today Network
Nine students wearing team branded navy blue polo shirts stand/sit posing facing the camera. They are surrounding their aircraft build which is white and about 8 feet in wing span. In front of the plane are three award plaques.

The UMSAE Polar Air Team at the airfield in Lakeland, Florida with their winning aircraft on March 8, 2020. The team returned to Canada on March 10, before COVID-19 related travel restrictions were established.

Three-peat for UMSAE Polar Air

Team returns from competition with 1st place in design report, 2nd place in mission performance, and 2nd overall.

March 21, 2020 — 

The UMSAE Polar Air has grown accustomed to returning home with handfuls of hardware and international recognition for their builds. This year is no exception. The team has previously received international recognition stemming from competitions in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

On March 6th and 7th, the team faced off against 31 other teams from United States, Brazil, India, Poland, Czech Republic, and Mexico. They designed and manufactured a lightweight RC aircraft that carried a heavy payload that included a soccer ball and metal plates. This was the first time the team had a new set of rules to abide by which drastically altered their design from the previous three years. In September, the team began their initial design where they sized the aircraft, manufactured and tested a foam prototype. They then optimized sections of the aircraft and manufactured a wood prototype followed by and two competition planes.

A white model aircraft with about 8 foot wing span sits on green grass. The wings and tail section have red accents.

UMSAE Polar Air’s completed multiple flight rounds consisting of their aircraft lifting payload while being able to take off, complete a circuit, and land safely.

This year, the team placed 2nd overall at the competition, 1st place in design report and 2nd place in mission performance.  The Mission performance score includes the sum of the top three flight scores over seven rounds plus a bonus on how accurate the predicted lifted payload weight was in comparison to the design report.

Team lead Quinton Gitzel says, “Preparing for competition is always challenging, especially with the new rules. But the success of the team is credited not just one individual, but rather the team as a whole. Stepping up as team lead this year was a challenge as we had big shoes to fill based on the previous years’ competition performance.  Attending competition challenged me and the team to quickly assess risk and make decisions on whether we should fly the flight round and how much weight to carry. I am really proud of the team this year and the success we achieved from all the adversity we faced throughout the year and at competition.”


One comment on “Three-peat for UMSAE Polar Air

  1. James Holland

    Team UMSAE,

    Congratulations on your success, especially with the new rules that required your adaption to your design that achieved such success. You are learning skills and working as a team that will prepare all of you well for your futures. We at Winpak are proud of all of You and the University of Manitoba!

Comments have been closed.

© University of Manitoba • Winnipeg, Manitoba • Canada • R3T 2N2

Emergency: 204-474-9341