This slideshow and story originally appeared on the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Web site.
If you build it, it will fly -- or so hoped two teams of engineering students who participated in this year's Cessna Aircraft Company/Raytheon Missile Systems Student Design/Build/Fly Competition in Tucson, Arizona in April.
And indeed, the students' radio controlled aircraft flew.
The UT student teams named "Team TX-11" and "Team Steel N Balls" competed against 80 other teams from around the world and successfully completed all three of the competition's missions. TX-11 finished in seventh place overall and Steel N Ball finished 15th.
The Design/Build/Fly competition provided students with the opportunity to hone their strengths and apply skills learned in the classroom.
"It's cool because each student can work on what they want to improve upon, and a lot of them are finding out what they're good at and what they enjoy doing," said Mark Maughmer, the Design/Build/Fly staff advisor. "They get to try different things as they design and build an airplane from the ground up like they do in real life."