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Glider Day sponsored by AIAA

Mountaineer Glider Competition 2019

The first Mountaineer Glider Competition, sponsored by the WVU AIAA Student Chapter, will take  on Sunday, April 7th, 2019, in the West Virginia University Shell Building

Registration will be limited to 20 teams for the first year, and entry cost is $10 per group. All proceeds will go to the Morgantown Civil Air Patrol. Teams can be comprised of middle school students (grade 6-8), with a limit of 6 students per group.

There will be prizes awarded for each category.

Categories will include:

  • Distance of Flight
  • Time of Flight
  • Controllability of Flight
  • Best Overall Presentation
Winning teams will be posted after the event. Be sure to keep up with the event by following @WVUAIAA on Twitter.


To register for the AIAA Mountaineer Glider Competition, you can register online at the below link:
AIAA Mountaineer Glider Competition Registration
print, complete and mail the below form to:
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
West Virginia University
PO Box 6106
Morgantown, WV 25606-6106
ATTN: Dr. Wade Huebsch

Include a $10 check per glider entry. Checks can be made payable to: WVU AIAA
or money can be sent via Venmo directly to WVU-AIAA

Printable Mountaineer Glider Day Registration Form

All submissions must be postmarked by Monday, March 25, 2019.


8:00-8:30 a.m. - Check in/weigh in
8:45 a.m.- Launch Wave 1
9:15 a.m.- Launch Wave 2
9:45 a.m.- Launch Wave 3
10:15 a.m.- Presentations
11:15 a.m.- Winners Announced
11:30 a.m.- Event Concludes

Official Rules


The glider is to be constructed out of any material that you choose, as long as there are no metal or “pre-fabricated” parts.  The design must not have any type of propulsion system (slings, rockets, propellers, etc.). The design must also not have wheels. Please make sure that there are no sharp objects or extreme points in the design for safety reasons. 


When designing your glider it must have a wing like structure that is capable of generating lift. This is not a flying brick contest. All gliders must have the team name clearly marked.   

  Appearance detailing design of acceptable submissions. Includes vertical tail, stabilizer, fuselage, and main wing.

The glider must include a fuselage, main wing, vertical tail and horizontal stabilizer (shown above).  When fully assembled the glider must be able to fit inside a box that is 3ft x 3ft x 1ft and not exceed 3 pounds.

Flying Abilities

The entry must be able to fly at least twenty feet.  This distance will be measured from the starting line to the nose of the plane at touchdown.  Only hand launches will be allowed.


Each contestant will receive three attempts to launch the glider from a starting line. Teams will launch in three waves (1-20 will get one launch then repeat until each team has three launches).  This will give teams time to make any needed adjustments to their glider.  The best two results will be averaged together to obtain the final score. Planes must be hand launched by the contestant. Any contestant who violates these rules will be disqualified from the contest. 

Judging Criteria

Each team will be judged on the following criteria:

Distance of Flight – 12 points will be awarded for each foot the plane travels. Measurements will be made in a perpendicular straight line from the launch line. Distance of flight will be measured from the launching line to the point of the glider closest to the launch line when the glider touches down. 

Time of Flight – 10 points are awarded for each second the plane is in the air. The time will be measured to the nearest tenth. Time of flight will be measured from the release of the airplane to the time touchdown occurs.

Controllability of Flight –100 points will be given to all airplanes that travel 20 feet or more.  For every mark you are away from the centerline 20 points will be deducted see diagram below.  If your airplane does not travel 20 feet or is off path more than 45°, then you will only be awarded 20 points in this category.  Controllability of flight  is measured by the airplanes ability to fly along a straight flight path.  You will lose points for every mark away from the center line.  Only airplanes traveling 20 feet  or more will be considered for this category ( it is advisable to perform significant practice in order to achieve the best performance of the glider in each category ).   

Description of controllability of flight judging criteria showing centerline and launch line.

Best Overall Presentation –A maximum of 100 points will be awarded by a panel of judges for each group. The judging will be based on the overall look of the glider as well as your presentation and tri-fold poster. For this presentation, we are looking for a small 3-5 minute ‘science fair’ type of presentation (how did your plane perform versus what you expected, build process of your glider, what was your design process, what could you do better, etc.)


Once the competition is completed, the points will be tallied from each category. The group with the highest point total in each category will be declared the winner for that category. The judges decisions are final. There will be monetary prizes for the winner of each category.

Th e day will begin and end in the WVU Shell Building
Participants can park in park in the lots near the shell building without a parking pass.

Volunteer Information


If you have any questions about AIAA's Mountaineer Glider Day please email our WVU AIAA Student Chapter.