Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2016


Mechanical Engineering Technology

Committee Chair

Dr. Craig Johnson

Second Committee Member

Roger Beardsley

Third Committee Member

Charles Pringle


The Federal Aviation Administration recently released a statement that personal and homemade aircraft accidents could be reduced significantly with the addition of Angle of Attack information for the pilot. Installing most available devices on modern aircraft requires extensive fitting and modification at great expense. Furthermore, modification of older and vintage aircraft may not be desirable. The introduction of a simple, non-invasive device that provides the same information would increase safety and be marketable. Utilizing this opportunity and setting a range of requirements including cost, weight, ease of installation, and reliability, analysis was performed on different methods purposed to accomplish the stated design requirements. The solution selected uses a Hall Device switch (a magnetically actuated electronic switch), a 100 decibel buzzer contained by an interior component, and a vane assembly with magnetic base for position reference on the exterior component. The device transmits airflow information outside the cockpit to the pilot and mounts non-invasively. Adhering the two components to opposite sides of the canopy provides reliable data to the pilot in glider type aircraft, multiengine aircraft, and some single engine aircraft. The Icarus angle of attack indicator proves that the concept of a non-invasive angle of attack indicator is viable and serves its purpose as an experimental aviation device. Further development of the concept should strive to reduce size, increase adjustability, and decrease manufacturing difficulty.


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