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Team KU Advances in Boeing's Global Personal Aircraft Design Contest

The Mamba was created by KU aerospace engineering students. This design won $20,000 and has a shot at winning the ultimate GoFly Prize of $1 million.

A team of aerospace engineering students at the University of Kansas has captured a $20,000 prize for designing a new personal aircraft. As J. Schafer reports, Team KU announced today (THUR) that it advanced to the next level of competition in an international design contest - and a shot at a one million dollar payout.

KU's award-winning design will be on display Friday at 11 a.m. at the KU School of Engineering.

(alternate newscast version)

Team KU Advances in Global Aircraft Design Contest

Aerospace engineering students at the University of Kansas have won a $20,000 prize for designing a new, one-person aircraft. Team KU has also advanced to the next round of competition in the GoFly Prize, an international design contest sponsored by Boeing. The winning KU entry is called The Mamba, a helicopter-like aircraft designed to take off vertically and travel up to 120 MPH. Professor Ron Barrett-Gonzalez says his students also came up with a major technological breakthrough -- a way to make giant fans 50 percent quieter.

Team KU, also known as Team Mamba, is one of 10 finalists in the global design competition. At stake in the next round is a $50,000 prize, but only four entries will make the cut. Eventually, one winning design team will take home a million dollar prize. 

The existing model of The Mamba will be on public display Friday at 11 a.m. at the KU School of Engineering.

Check out other designs among the 10 finalists.

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