Student-led sustainable flight

Chico State students design, produce aviation engine innovation

Students from Chico State’s Sustainable Manufacturing program won the grand prize at the Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Conference and Exposition (AeroDef) in Long Beach on March 19.

The students created a manufacturing system to produce a redesigned aluminum cylinder head that allows piston engines in general-aviation light aircraft to run on unleaded, lower-octane fuels, according to a Chico State press release.

The students designed and built the sand-casting pattern, tooling, and full production system necessary to manufacture the cylinder head. Program coordinator Daren Otten said the degree of detail involved is what set his students’ work apart.

Chico State sustainable manufacturing students have taken home AeroDef’s top prize 14 times in recent years.