When the ETS Baja team had to withdraw from the Baja Auburn 2012 event due to abnormal gear failure, an extensive analysis was required to ensure that problems of this nature would not surface again. After some serious investigation, the conclusion of almost 30 hours of research was unexpected and proved surprisingly simple.
Months before the Formula SAE Michigan competition in May, teams were hashing out product development decisions. The end-game was presenting a racecar that had the right stuff for earning high points in the challenge's vehicle design evaluation as well as the acceleration, skid pad, endurance, and autocross dynamic performance events.
While it is true that the latest developments in advanced alloy manufacturing techniques can deliver structures and components that meet all the product requirements that aerospace primes need for new aircraft, there can be no escaping the fact that there is now an unstoppable momentum building up for the plastic airplane.