CCNY student aircraft designers soar high in international contest

Student engineers from The City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering received the top proposal score out of 141 institutions worldwide in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Design-Build-Fly 2020 competition.

The #1 ranking was based on a proposal submitted by the City College AIAA student branch. It included the team management, conceptual design, and manufacturing and testing plans for the CCNY aircraft, “Brolic Beaver.”

Participants in this first round came from across both the United States and the world. Institutions bested by CCNY include American schools: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, Cornell University and the University of Notre Dame. From overseas, University of New South Wales (Australia), Emirates Aviation University (United Arab Emirates), the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Peking University and the University of Hong Kong were among the vanquished teams.

CCNY now advances to the 2019-2020 Design-Build-Fly competition in Wichita, Kansas, April 16-19 as a favorite.

According to Mazen Alhirsh, a mechanical engineering major and CCNY’s chief engineer and team leader, the objective of this year’s competition is to design a banner-towing bush plane that can conduct charter flights.

“The plane needs to complete four missions including a ground mission, a test flight mission, a passenger mission, and a banner mission,” said Alhirsh. “For the banner mission, the plane will have to deploy and release a banner with CCNY written on it. The banner mission inspired our team name, ‘The Towing Company.’”

The CCNY team is currently working on developing its first prototype of the “Brolic Beaver” that it hopes to test fly before the winter holidays.  

Other members of the team (all mechanical engineering majors) included:

•    Samantha Arato;
•    Muhammad Attiyab;
•    Hemwatie Persaud;
•     Erick Robles; and
•    Brenda Valbuena.

About The City College of New York
Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its role at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.2% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. More than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight professional schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.


Jay Mwamba p: 212.650.7580 e:  View CCNY Media Kit.