SAE Aero Design

SAE Aero Design is a series of annual competitions that challenge teams from across the world to design, build, and fly fixed wing aircraft capable of achieving different objectives based on their class.


UManitoba SAE Polar Air participates in the regular and micro classes, where the goal is to lift as much payload as possible.


There are two parts to each competition, each with their own series of events known as the static and dynamic events.


The events award the team points towards a grand total, the team with the greatest total wins the competition overall.


Some events, such as tech inspection, award no points but are required in order to proceed to other events for safety reasons.

Static Events

Design Report
Teams are required to submit a design report detailing why they chose a particular design and how they arrived at that conclusion. The report should provide insight into the team's engineering methodology, calculations, and any other procedures used to establish a design for the prototype aircraft.

Points Awarded:

50 points

The presentation is an opportunity for teams to earn points by convincing the judges that their design is the best for the competition. Teams give a brief description of how they analyzed different designs to ensure their plane is optimized.

Points Awarded:

50 points

Tech Inspection
Any aircraft or replacement parts to be flown at competition must pass a technical inspection. Judges review the  aircraft to ensure it adheres to competition regulations. No points are awarded in this event, however passing is mandatory to earn any points during flight rounds.

Points Awarded:


Dynamic Events

Flight Rounds
Aircraft are flown in up to 5 flight rounds where they lift as much payload as possible. The aircraft must take off, complete a circuit, and land safely in order to achieve a successful flight round. Points are awarded not only for amount of weight lifted but also how accurately the team predicted the aircraft's performance.

Points Awarded:

Based on a formula that accounts for payload lifted as well as the predicted performance of the aircraft compared to actual results