For questions regarding your VIP team's operations this Fall, please see our VIP policy for Fall 2020 and Notes from instructors on delivery modes. For information on returning to campus, please visit GA Tech's Moving Foward page.

Special Purpose Aircraft (SPA)

2019 ~ Present


Create, fabricate, and flight test unmanned air vehicles intended for a special purpose or technology demonstration.

Issues Involved or Addressed

The SPA VIP team is a multidisciplinary network of students engaged in creating new unmanned air vehicle platform technologies and configurations. A focus of the SPA is creating highly specialized and application specific technologies to improve the mobility of new and existing aircraft. Example projects include robotic legged landing gear for rotorcraft and passive bleed air control of fixed wing aircraft. Projects often take the form of integration of emerging technologies into platforms in innovative ways to create enabling features and capabilities for unmanned air vehicles. In addition to establishing new aircraft configurations and technologies, the SPA is also focused on educating the next generation of unmanned air vehicle engineers and researchers.

Methods and Technologies

  • Computer Simulation
  • Dynamics
  • Controls
  • Mechatronics
  • Mechanical Design
  • Electrical System Design
  • Aerospace Design
  • Structural Analysis
  • Flight Testing

Academic Majors of Interest

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Industrial Design
  • Materials Science and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Robotics

Preferred Interests and Preparation

AE: Experience or willingness to learn aircraft performance, stability, and control.

ME: Experience or willingness to learn mechanical design.

AE/ME: Experience or willingness to learn CAD.

EE: Experience or willingness to learn circuit design and fabrication.

AE/ME/EE/CS: Experience or willingness to learn mechatronics.

All Majors: Experience or willingness to learn to build things. Experience or willingness to learn to test things.

Meeting Schedule & Location



Meeting Location: 

ESM 109A

Meeting Day: 


Team Advisors

Dr. Mark Costello
  • Aerospace Engineering