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Aztec Aerodesign Recognizes SEFSD Officers

By Steve Manganelli

The Aztec Aerodesign Club headed by San Diego State University (SDSU) Student Clay Logsdon recognized SEFSD Treasurer Steve Manganelli and Safety Officer Steve Neu at their final club meeting held April 28th, 2023.  Commemorative plaques were presented for mentoring and piloting the aircraft in the 2023 Design/Build/Fly Competition held 2 weeks previously in Tucson AZ.  See last Month’s DBF Article.

The most interesting aspect of the DBF challenge was the wing proof load mission where loads far in excess of what the model could practically experience in the air were designed for and applied in the competition to earn scoring points. The Huizilopochtli model having 55 inch span by 12” chord wing was designed to survive a proof load of nearly 300 lbs, but would it? In competition, our maximum carry was a conservative 155 lbs after some surprising experiments conducted in sunny conditions (hint : West Systems Epoxy and 120 F don’t mix!) but with the competition over, it was time to go for broke…literally. The same mechanism used in competition was deployed (in the shade) with infinite weights available at the Club closing meeting. Each student made their guess as to the final failure weight and wrote it on the test wing.

The custom fabricated wing jointer failed in compression with a loud bang at 274 lbs.! Not sure whom had the closest to the actual, but was an enjoyable time and a fitting experiment to end this year’s DBF challenge. Most of the students participating in DBF this year graduated and are starting their professional careers in aerospace engineering. Myself, Steve Neu and the whole of the SEFSD Club are proud to have support the San Diego State University Aztec community in this endeavor.


Max Dommers, Roberto Marquez and Gabriela Gonzalez look on as wing deflects under weight.  Ms. Gonzalez looks a little worried as she was the one that fabricated the wing joiner!


Clay Logsdon presents Steve Manganelli and Steve Neu Commemorative Plaques. L-R : Jeremy Johnson, Roberto Marquez, Dylan Lake (looking down) Tomas Mendoza, Kevin Garcia, Steve Manganelli, Max Dommers, Clay Logsdon, Magnus Ramsey, Steve Neu, Gabriela Gonzalez