Student Researched and Developed High Power Rocket; Make General Aviation Great Again

Delgado, Alvaro, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Dong, Haibo, EN-Mech & Aero Engr Dept, University of Virginia
Francisco, Pedro Augusto, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

Aviation in the United States has been a vital part of every person’s life whether or not they realize it, as it supports nearly 1.2 million jobs and a total of $246.8 billion in economic output. The pilots, mechanics, manufacturers, technicians, air traffic controllers, and all members of the logistical processes of flight are part of a continent spanning network of thousands of airports, helipads, and airfields. Unfortunately, this number, as well as the state of general aviation as a whole, has been declining in the United States since its “golden age” in the 1970s and 1980s. The technical part of this paper is my personal research done to try and prove this problem is real, discover the reasoning behind it, and present a methodology of how to fix this issue in a high-level analysis. Loneliness kills more people each year than any other illness, ailment, accident, or anything. People whose social lives are disrupted, self-worth is low, or who lack a moral basis are all at greater risk of death than anyone else. The human brain developed to need social interaction and a sure sense of self in order to function properly. If people are without these vital social resources, their brain uses extra metabolic resources to try and rationalize and solve these problems and it takes these resources from keeping their body alive. Perhaps the scariest part of this problem is that people, especially youth today, have no conscious awareness of what the problem really is, and they cannot find a solution because they do not have any basis to fall back on. The youth of today are in a loneliness epidemic, losing personal responsibility, their own moral values, and are given no challenging and engaging activities to try and cultivate these values. The purpose of the socio-technical aspect of this paper is to prove the reality of this issue, offer potential solutions, and ultimately turn towards General Aviation as a way to solve both the decline of General Aviation and the current mental/moral state of youth simultaneously. Included in this Undergraduate Thesis Portfolio is the Capstone Project Technical Report, going over the design, analysis, fabrication, and results of the Capstone Project, which was to design, prototype, fabricate, and test a high-powered rocket capable of deploying an experiment as a payload.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
General Aviation, Mental Health, Aviation, Rocketry, Rocket Fins
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