Air Cargo Challenge

The Air Cargo Challenge Monci is an inter-university competition with the objective of stimulating contact between the students of different backgrounds and testing their respective theoretical knowledge and practical skills regarding design and manufacture of airborne vehicles.

The event was first held in 2003. This brainchild of Master Engineer João Loureiro was first organized by APAE (Portuguese Association for Aeronautics and Space) as an inter-university competition open to Portuguese Universities, as well as to any independent parties. The competition was held at Covilhã Municipal Airfield. Competitors were required to design and build a radio controlled aircraft made to lift the maximum amount of payload possible. The aircraft also had to take off from a 61 m long runway, fly at least one circle around the airfield, and land safely, in order for the flight to be considered valid. Parameters such as wing span and engine type were also determined by the regulations.

The 2007 edition was the first one in which the contest opened its doors to Europe and, therefore, marked the first internationalization of this event. Once again, all the objectives of the contest were met. Over 90 students and professors, from at least seven countries, were competing. The variety of innovations displayed in the competition surpassed the host’s expectations. Overall, it was a remarkable success. Moreover, the 2007 edition was the first in which APAE decided to, as a part of the prize, assign the winner of the last edition to host the upcoming event, two years later. This was intended to give other teams the chance to experience Air Cargo Challenge not only as competitors, but also as organizing hosts.

Throughout the years, the rules and regulations have been modified in order to improve both the fairness and the practicality of the competition, however the main goal of maximizing the payload remained the same. This way, APAE, as the creator of the Air Cargo Challenge brand, reserves the right to have the final word concerning the rules and regulations of the contest, in order to maintain the format and spirit of the competition. Also, if by some reason the winner of the last edition decides not to be the next host of Air Cargo Challenge, the honour returns to APAE. This assures the continuity of the event.

The next edition of the Air Cargo Challenge international competition will be hosted by the 2015 edition winners, in Zagreb.