MAE's new club Buckeye Vertical begins to explore Advanced Air Mobility and Urban Air Mobility

Posted: February 15, 2021

At the Ohio Air Mobility Symposium hosted by The Ohio State University in Feb. 2020, Adithya Ramaswami and Michael Valcarcel were introduced to the complexities and challenges within Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM).

Adithya found himself to be captivated by the field of Aerospace Engineering and absolutely loved it.

From there, he began to explore deeper in AAM and UAM. As a student, Adithya was excited to be at the beginning of a rapidly developing sector within Aerospace.

AAM is the innovation of new airborne technology supporting an ecosystem designed to transport people and items to locations not traditionally served by current modes of air transportation, including both rural and the more challenging and complex urban environments.

Adithya and Michael knew that AAM was to be the future of air travel and had the ability to connect our world in a revolutionary way.

They heard about the Vertical Flight Society’s announcement of their first Design Build Vertical Flight Competition.

Adithya Ramaswami Headshot

“Upon hearing of the competition, I immediately jumped in and was eager to assemble a team to compete,” Ramaswami said. “We are excited to dive deeper into vertical flight technology and continue to further explore AAM."

After assembling the team, Adithya felt that taking one step further and creating a student organization that had the potential to introduce AAM and UAM to more students at Ohio State.

That next step led to the creation of Buckeye Vertical, a new club in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department at Ohio State that aims to help students explore the new world of AAM and UAM.

“This is a growing sector in Aerospace and will continue to change our National Airspace System in the many years to come,” Ramaswami, president and founder of Buckeye Vertical, said. “It is important for students to be aware and understand AAM and UAM and the impact it will have on our communities. Transportation is constantly evolving, and air travel is going to see a momentous change in the next few decades.”

The club, which was founded Sept. 2020 is advised by Dr. Jim Gregory, chair of the MAE department, and Dr. Matt McCrink, a Research Scientist at Ohio State’s Aerospace Research Center.

The goal of Buckeye Vertical is to provide students the opportunity to explore and understand AAM and UAM through professional development opportunities and project-based competitions that will support and create a platform of academic enrichment and excellence, according to Valcarcel, vice president and co-founder of Buckeye Vertical.

Michael Valcarcel

“Buckeye Vertical strives to create a platform readily available for students to explore unmanned aircraft technology, air vehicle design and fabrication,” Valcarcel said. “Additionally, students will develop hands-on skills and familiarization with electric-powered remote-control vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and Urban Air Mobility technology.”

Buckeye Vertical is to compete in the Vertical Flight Society’s first Design Build Vertical Flight Competition against other universities across the country. The contest focuses on designing, building, and flying an electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle to complete two main courses.

The two courses consist of an endurance course testing the aircraft’s flight time ability along with speed, and the second course is a maneuverability course testing the accuracy of the autonomous flight and agility of the aircraft, Ramaswami and Valcarcel said. Buckeye Vertical plans on competing in more competitions in the future to create more opportunities for students to explore this field.

More recently, Buckeye Vertical has launched the “Buckeye Vertical Lecture Series,” which aims to help students critically think about AAM and UAM’s complexity and the future of this rapidly growing sector within Aerospace. There will be guest speakers and events on a variety of topics within industry, government, and academia for any student to attend. 

Buckeye Vertical is currently meeting over Zoom

You can support the growth of this new club in the world of cutting-edge aerospace technology here

Buckeye Vertical Fund Number: 317126