In 2019, AERO McGill will be competing in the 2019 SAE Aero East Design Series in the Micro Class. The objective is to design, build, and assemble a lightweight, hand-launched, remote-controlled, and fixed-wing micro UAV. Points are earned for carrying heavy payloads while minimizing the weight of the aircraft. In 2015, AERO McGill participated in this competition for the first time and placed 16th overall - ahead of many teams competing for five years or longer. Following our goal of continuous improvement, we placed 3rd in design and 8th overall in 2016 - a commendable feat for a new team.


In 2019, AERO McGill will compete in the Unmanned Systems Canada competition from May 3rd to 5th at Alma, Quebec. The objective is to design, build, and operate an autonomous fixed-wing or multirotor aircraft. The competition’s scenario is changed annually. This year, the team’s mission is set in a damage assessment scenario. Tasks include Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) survey, detailed inspection, and payload delivery. The vehicle is limited to a gross weight of maximum 10 kg (22 lbs) and must be capable of autonomously completing a variety of ground oriented tasks such as terrain mapping and target analysis.

Advanced Team

In 2019, AERO McGill is planning on competing in the Advanced Class of the SAE Aero Design Series once again. The objective is to design, build, and operate a remote controlled aircraft to drop a variety of payload, including fully autonomous gliders, on target in a designated drop-zone. Points are earned for accuracy of the drop and maximum payload lifted.

In 2016, the team participated in this competition for the first time, and placed 8th overall. The team was able to both successfully fly and drop the packages on targets. In 2017, we placed 9th overall due to an unfortunate crash early in the competition, followed by a similar fate in 2018. Renewed by these failures, the team has made major changes in design and is attacking the new ruleset of 2019 with vigour.

Solar Drone Team

In Fall 2017, a new team has been working on producing a non-competition solar powered aircraft. The McGill Solar Drone team has started the development of a prototype solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drone capable of high speed agricultural surveillance. The prototype focused on the wing for 2017-2018 in order to get the drone airborne. This year, the team focuses on developing a fuselage well suited for the mission objectives and is aiming to manufacture a remotely-controlled aircraft capable of extended flight for large-scale surveying. This project will be made possible by an array of solar panels spanning the wings providing constant power to a high energy density battery.

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