bergey-aerospace-cougar-ame On July 14, 2017, the Bergey Aerospace BA-14-001 “COUGAR” conducted its first flight from the local Max Westheimer airport marking the start of its flight test program, and the continuation of a project that has been with the University of Oklahoma’s College of Engineering School of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering for nearly two decades.

Well-known as one of the original designers of the Piper Cherokee, retired AME professor and president of Bergey Aerospace, Karl H. Bergey, first envisioned the high-cruise-speed, 4-seat, propeller-driven aircraft in the 1990’s as an enhanced Piper Arrow capable of a true 200 mph or greater cruise speed. He solicited the help of OU engineering students over the years to complete the design, construction and now test flights of the aircraft.

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According to Jawanza Bassue, volunteering project engineer and 2017 OU AME M.S. graduate, “The COUGAR has and continues to be a teaching tool for Oklahoma’s students – not just at the OU College of Engineering but, for life-long-learners (including OKC MetroTech Aviation Campus students) who have volunteered their time and efforts to see the aircraft to this point – I thank them all for what we’ve done together.” He recognizes the recent contributions of Jet Black Machine, Quality Aircraft Accessories, the FAA (especially the contributions of OU AME Board Member and  Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center Director Michelle Coppedge), the OU Information Technology Department and the School of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering. “It’s my hope that the College of Engineering will find more great ways for our students to benefit from having this platform available. I’m interested in hearing what the OU COE community has in mind for continued student involvement in this project – true course credit for flight test engineering-related activities and the opportunity to build another aircraft are all entirely possible. It’s not everyday students and volunteers get to take some credit for getting a 3000 lb, 35 ft wide aircraft airborne and we should be very proud of that.”

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The aircraft was displayed at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) fly-in September 8-9 in Norman at the Max Westheimer Airport – an event that was open to the public and drew thousands of aviation enthusiasts as well as other airshows from across the Nation. For updates and information follow the Bergey Aerospace Facebook page or visit www.bergeyaero.com.


Written by: Jawanza Bassue

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AME alumni:
Your school needs your help! The Mechanical Engineering Capstone program has grown in size tremendously in recent years, and we are in need of additional industry sponsored projects to support our large student cohort for Spring 2018.
 
For many years, our capstone program has collaborated with industry sponsors, like you, to provide “real-life” industry projects for our seniors to complete during their final semester in school. These projects allow our students to successfully demonstrate a variety of skills that future employers prize: analysis, design, teamwork and communication skills to name a few. Ideally, the project will feature some elements of a design process and be suited for a team of 3-5 members for a period of 15 weeks. We are also interested in interdisciplinary projects that may involve industrial or electrical engineers as well.
 
If you believe your company may be able to assist us, please contact Dr. Chris Dalton at cdalton@ou.edu.

bass-family-bike-project-ame-2The Bass Family asked the team to find a way to allow their son, Titus, who is physical and mentally handicapped, to participate with their other son, Tobias, in the cycling portion of a triathlon. It is Tobias’ dream to be the youngest person to complete the Ironman triathlon while accompanied by a disabled partner.

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After meeting with the Bass Family and researching several ideas, the team decided to follow through with a sidecar design for Tobias’ bike. The sidecar includes a steel frame, fiberglass nose shell, and arms that can detach from the frame of the bike. The fiberglass nose shell is connected to the front of the sidecar frame by hinges, allowing the shell to open and close. This will make loading Titus in the sidecar an easy task.

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The sidecar is attached to the frame of the bike with attaching arms that have clamps at the end. These clamps allow the user to attach and detach the sidecar. The position of the third wheel of the sidecar is also adjustable. The height and lateral position of the third wheel can be adjusted using similar clamps. A 3D model of the sidecar frame was designed in SolidWorks. Several loading simulations were performed on the frame using ANSYS to ensure safety. The results of the FEA showed that under the loading conditions, the sidecar frame would remain a safe option for Titus. Tests on the actual prototype were also done by the team.

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Again, the results showed that the sidecar was safe. The sidecar designed and manufactured by the team provides Titus and Tobias a light-weight and low-cost solution to their initial problem.

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