The Banshee was designed to compete in the 2011 UAV Invitational Airshow and Speedfest, held in Stillwater, OK in May of 2011.  The aircraft was designed as a high preformance aircraft balancing high maximum speed, quick acceleration, and good maneuverability.  The mission objectives were for mission two to complete a set of two high speed passes 600 feet in length as quickly as possible while maintaining straight and level fight, one north in direction and one south; and then for mission one to fly a set of ten laps around two pylons in a figure eight pattern in the quickest time possible.  The flight score depended on time to complete for the mission one, and velocity for the mission two.   Aircraft was subject limitations such as the battery voltage and the amperage to the proplusion system.  The Banshee finished in 1st place for the first mission, 1st for the second, and 1st overall for the constest.

Specification List: 


  • Wingspan:      2.9 ft.
  • Wing Area:     0.75 sq. ft.
  • Aspect Ratio: 11.34
  • Airfoil:            Spectre 1509 (Modified RG 15)


  • Length:    2.16 ft.
  • Width:     1.86 in.
  • Height:    1.86 in.


  • Motor:                              Nue 1110 1.5Y
  • Controller:                        Pheonix ICE Lite 100
  • Mission one Fuel:            Thunder Power 1800 mAh 3S 
  • Mission one Propeller:     APC 7x4 clipped to a 5.5x4
  • Mission two Fuel:            Thunder Power 2250 mAh 3S
  • Mission two Propeller:     APC 7x4 clipped to a 6x4


  • Empty Weight (without batteries):  1.125 lb
  • Battery Weight:    0.375 lb
  • Gross Weight:      1.5 lb


  • Molded carbon composite construction
  • Rocket Assisted Takeoff system for launch
  • Non-Linear wing sweep and taper design


  • Maximum speed:                        180 MPH

Blended Design:

One of the most important features of the Banshee was the blend design for the components.  As speed was such a critical component of anything we did mission wise is this competition it was important that we take steps to reduce drag.  By blending the junction with the wings a major component of this drag was reduced.  This optimization is a key part of the reason the aircraft acheived the speeds it did.

Team Info: 

The OSU Black design team was led by a Chief Engineer, and divided into three primary groups: Aerodynamics/Stability and Control, Propulsion, and Structures.

Chief Engineer: Wes Combs

Aerodynamics / Stability and Control:

  • Kyle Sinkbeil (Lead)
  • Anthony Hassestt
  • Bryan Todd
  • Jesse Cruce
  • Rachelle Randall


  • Jacob Stockton (Lead)
  • Jacob Hunter
  • Mark Nelson
  • Tyler Prosise


  • Ryan Reynolds (Lead)
  • Andrew Gilmore
  • Andrew Harrison
  • Cathy McCollam
  • David Hillstrom
  • Jamie McCoy
  • Josh Swarer
  • Ryan Lack

Pilot: Dan Bierly

Flight test pilot: Dan Bierly

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Andrew S. Arena, Jr.

Assistant: Dr. Joe Conner

*(The above team roster does not include all people involved in the project)

Contest Summary: 

The 2011 Speedfest profile consisted of two separate missions. The first mission consisted of a set of ten laps in a figure eight pattern a round two pylons spaced 800 feet apart. In that mission the aircraft had to take off without human interference, successfully complete 10 laps without committing any foul such as cutting a pylon, and finally land if possible. The score of the mission was calculated by 1200*10/(time of mission). The second mission’s objective was to have achieved the shortest run time possible over a distance of 600 feet from one pylon to the other. This had to be done twice once to the north and once to the south and then the average velocity of the two runs was taken for the run. The score in this case was equal to the average velocity in ft/s of the run. This created an interesting balance between raw speed and agility and guided most of our design decisions and optimizations.

Overall score was calculated by dividing the best of the team’s mission scores in each mission by the best overall score in the mission for the day; adding the two results; and then multiplying by 0.5 giving a best possible score of 100.


  • Minimizing weight while maintaining high strength.
  • Balancing performance between the two missions.
  • 11.1 v nominal voltage battery and 40 Amp fast acting fuse to propulsion requirement.
  • Keeping the aircraft systems cool while maintaining high performance.
  • Taking off without human interference and landing gear.
  • Quick assembly and set up of aircraft for launch.

Complete Rules

Results Summary: 

Mission 1 Score:       146.4

Mission 2 Score:       176

Total Score:              100

Overall Place:           1st


The following sponsors contributed to the project.  The OSU Black team greatly appreciates their support, and considers them members of our team.  Without their support, the project would not have been possible.

Col. (ret.) Joseph Rea, OSU Alum 1948, 1956
Andrew S. Arena Memorial fund
L. Andrew Maciula
Shlumberger, Inc.
Oklahoma State University, School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
University Multispectral Laboratories
NASA Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium
OSU Student Government Association