Team GT-21 Stinger Takes Top Prize for Best Aerospace Engineering Project at Capstone Expo

Team GT-21 Stinger Takes Top Prize for Best Aerospace Engineering Project at Capstone Expo

Flying Under the Radar: The winners of the best aerospace engineering project at the Spring 2021 Georgia Tech Capstone Expo are members of Team GT-21 Stinger. Samuel WilliamsChristian Waegelin, Austin HatchVirinchi Puligundla, and Benjamin Cohen.

GT-21 Stinger, a five-person fixed-wing team, won the most outstanding aerospace engineering project at Georgia Tech's Spring 2021 Capstone Design Expo, held virtually on April 27. Made possible through the Georgia Tech startup Gatherly, 971 students across 186 teams showcased their research to judges, classmates, faculty, staff, and the public.  

The AE School fielded nine teams, each with an aerospace engineering challenge to solve. Students had to choose between a vertical lift, space, or a fixed-wing course to determine their semester-long senior project. 

Team GT-21 Stinger's Poster

GT-21 Stinger will share $1,000 for their design of an uninhabited combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) with stealth capabilities, designed to supplement the United States Air Force’s F-22 fleet. The team took an iterative approached inspired by their reading of Dr. Jan Roskam’s Airplane Design Part I

“We looked at three main figures of merit for our project: stealth, performance, and cost,” explained Virinchi Puligundla, who worked alongside teammates Austin Hatch, Benjamin Cohen, Christian Waegelin, and Samuel Williams

“We wanted the aircraft to have a low radar detectability to increase the survivability of the aircraft. It’s not cost effective to have an aircraft that is easily targeted,” said Puligundla.

GT-21 Stinger needed the aircraft to also be fast and agile, while having a low unit cost. To do this, their airframe included a single internal engine, internal payload bay, high delta wing, twin tail and six fuel tanks. These features allowed their aircraft to maintain static stability, reduce drag, and have a fuselage volume that could sufficiently carry a maximum payload of 1,800 pounds.  

Solid Works design of GT-21 Stinger

“We calculated the required thrust of the aircraft 27,000 pounds of thrust, and that led us to the F110-GE-129 engine made by GE aviation, which can provide 29,000 pounds of thrust. And have a max speed of Mach 1.875,” said Cohen. 

As with many Senior Design teams, the pandemic impacted how the students worked together, making the already challenging project that much tougher. 

“Not being able to gather and having to work solely online made it really difficult to work together, especially as everything became more complex and more interdependent,” said Cohen. 

Once the team began focusing on the design choices and details of the actual aircraft, every change impacted another aspect of the aircraft. 

“We couldn’t simply make one change without it impacting everything, so as we got deeper into the project we had to work more as a unit and have really good communication,” said by Cohen. 

Their hard work and ability to adapt paid off with the Capstone Expo’s top aerospace engineering project. 
According to Waegelin, the team hopes to use some of the prize money to build a small prototype of the GT-21 Stinger. 



Overall Capstone Results

Best Overall Project - StrideLink

Cassandra McIltrot (BME) - Sykesville, MD
Marzeah Khorramabadi (CmpE) - Birmingham, AL
Neel Narvekar (CmpE) - Arcadia, CA
Tony Wineman (EE) - Woodstock, GA

Aerospace Engineering - GT21 Stinger

Austin Hatch (AE) - Kennesaw, GA
Benjamin Cohen (AE) - Dunwoody, GA
Christian Waegelin (AE) - Atlanta, GA
Samuel Williams (AE) - Wakefield, RI
Virinchi Puligundla (AE) - Marietta, GA

Architecture - All Right Architecture

Arthima Chaisiri (Arch) - Norcross, GA
Chris Geng (Arch) - Atlanta, GA

Biomedical Engineering - Milk Maids

Amanda Wijntjes (BME) - Annapolis, MD
Austin Stachowski (BME) - Milton, GA
Emma Kate Costanza (BME) - Columbus, GA
Gabrielle Lonsberry (BME) - West Palm Beach, FL
Simran Dhal (BME) - Milton, GA

Electrical and Computer Engineering - Little Einsteins, Team Lavender, Capstone :)

Alton Stovall - Memphis, TN
Breanna Ivey - Macon, GA
Dorsey Beckles - Lithonia, GA
Hunter Ellison - Evans, GA
Jacques Crawford - Atlanta, GA
Joel Mathew - Grayson, GA
Benjamin Leverett - Douglasville, GA
Hussain Miyaziwala - Seattle, WA
Huy Hoang - Stockbridge, GA
Ismael Dondasse - Atlanta, GA
Michelle Ray - Puerto Rico
Ruth Pavoor - Duluth, GA
Cassidy Fountain - Cochran, GA
Karinne Bernanke - Charlotte, NC
Kyle Heiss - Wilmington, DE
Paige Gohr - Laguna Niguel, CA
Srijan Duggal - New Orleans, LA
Zachary Byrd - Brooks, GA

Industrial Design/Mechanical Engineering - Bunny Hopkins Toy Design Team

Alyssa Hearn (ME) - Cumming, GA
Elizabeth Goetz (ME) - Germantown, TN
Leah Cohen (ME) - Dallas, TX
Madelyn Principe (ID)- Conyers, GA
Sapan Desai (ME) - Lawrenceville, GA
Shani Genosar (ID) - Suwanee, GA

Industrial and Systems Engineering - New Homes for Radomes

Harper Power (IE) - Lanett, AL
John Raj (IE) - Cumming, GA
Kathryn Otte (IE) - Atlanta, GA
Matthew Oswald (IE) - Canton, GA
Rahil Manji (IE) - Alpharetta, GA
Vishal Hansalia (IE) - Atlanta, GA

Mechanical Engineering - Ramblin' Wrecks

Derek Doolittle (ME) - Hampton, GA
Gaurav Kunwar (ME) - Warner Robins, GA
Katherine Sanchez (ME) - Blairsville, GA
Melissa Rosenhauer (ME) - Lawrenceville, GA
Philip Fentress (ME) - Memphis, TN
Tyra Newton (ME) - Gainesville, GA

Materials Science and Engineering - No Pressure

Aaron Thomas (MSE) - Corning, NY
Alexander Chen (MSE) - Whippany, NJ
Dustin Johnson (MSE) - Signal Mountain, TN
Eleanor Turaski (MSE) - Friendsville, TN
Matthew Kuner (MSE) - Los Angeles, CA

Music Technology - RT60

Connor Dowd (MT) - Atlanta, GA
Gus Campbell (MT) - Brookhaven, GA
Jordan Chatfield (MT) - Decatur, GA

Nuclear and Radiological Engineering - Molten Lead Fast Reactor

Collin Dunn (NRE) - Spokane Valley, WA
Jeffrey Wang (NRE) - San Marcos, TX
Lucien Ewane (NRE) - Atlanta. GA
Luke Black (NRE) - Winder, GA
Ousmane Ndiaye (NRE) - Decatur, GA

Public Policy (Tie) - Parks and Wreck

Andrew McGraw (PubP) - Wayne County, GA
Colin Masterson (PubP) - Cumming, GA
Josette Vanderlaan (PubP) - Las Vegas, NV
Madeline Bruning (PubP) - Athens, GA
Mira Kaufman (PubP) - Atlanta, GA

Public Policy (Tie) - Dial B for Birder

Anne Hardin (PubP) - Atlanta, GA
Dalton Booker (PubP) - Pulaski, GA
Grace Fletcher (PubP) - Thomasville, GA
Peter Tilly (PubP) - Roswell, GA
William Marchant (PubP) - Sandy Springs, GA

Interdisciplinary - Grass Gurus

Alex Field (ME) - Brookhaven, GA
Eli Tiemann (ME) - Millstadt, IL
Joshua Shafran (CmpE) - Kingston, NY
Maxwell Koerner (ME) - Penn Valley, PA
Phillip Holloway (ME) - Atlanta, GA
Samuel Kiley (CmpE) - Duluth, GA

People's Choice - Forecasting MoDELL

Haolin Ye (IE) - China
Heewon Jeong (IE) - Korea
JIANZHE (Andy) Xu (IE) - Beijing, China
Joan Saheb (IE) - Amman, Jordan
Juan Redondo Albertos (IE) - Ponferrada, Spain
Marc Al Haj (IE) - Beirut, Lebanon
Mukram Aljandali (IE) - Homs, Syria

People's Choice - Flightie Talkie

Baran Usluel (EE) - Ankara, Turkey
Bing Guo (ME) - North Potomac, MD
Josiah Keene (ME) - Demorest, GA
Karl Andraos (ME) - Beirut, Lebanon
Mark Faingold (CmpE) - Saint Petersburg, Russia

People's Choice - BarMobil

Aaron Cahn (ME) - Cleveland, OH
Emil Muly (ME) - Sandy Springs, GA
Madison Harrill (ME) - Jesup, GA
Trevor Daino (ME) - Waxhaw, NC
Zachary Elrod (ME) - Moreland, GA


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Kelsey Gulledge