CASI Free Flight Competition 2017

The Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute is committed to serving our student members by offering events and activities that are enjoyable, educational and worthwhile. One of these is the CASI Free Flight Competition that was inaugurated in 1994.

The event is intended for university undergraduate and community college students. It consists of designing, building and launching (by means of a tow line) an unpowered aircraft with a 2 meter wingspan and an empty weight of 1200 grams. There is also a requirement for a report that describes the aircraft in terms of its aerodynamic aspects, overall design, engineering challenges, materials used etc.

Teams representing many Canadian academic institutions have participated in the Competition:

  • University of Alberta
  •  Carleton University
  • Concordia University
  • Lakehead University
  • Université Laval
  • University of Manitoba  – Four Time Winners
  • McGill University
  • Queen’s University
  • Royal Military College
  • Ryerson University
  • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology  – Four Time Winners
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Victoria
  • University of Waterloo

In the two-plus decades since 1994 the number and variety of university-age student competitions has increased dramatically. CASI has decided to undertake a comprehensive review of the value and benefits of the Free Flight Competition to the participating teams and their institutions. Based on the results we will decide how to move forward: whether to continue with the Free Flight Competition in its current format, to modify it, or even to replace it with a different event that will be more appealing and worthwhile.

The most recent Competition was held in 2014.

Thank you to all of those who participated the  2014 Free Flight competition. The weather cooperated and everyone had a great time!

Four teams competed, two from Ryerson University, one from Carleton University and one from the University of Manitoba.

The 2014 winner was the team from Carleton University! Congratulations!

The 2014 CASI Free Flight Competition was held in Gananoque, ON. First place went to the 6-person team from Carleton University, the University of Manitoba finished in second place, Team #1 from Ryerson University finished third, and Team #2 from Ryerson (not pictured) earned an Honourable Mention. Congratulations to all!

The two students in jumpsuits are Ryerson team members, Devin Marcelos and Gabriel Campos. This picture was taken right after the Free Flight Competition. Devin and Gabriel decided to take advantage of the opportunity to do a tandem skydive with CASI staff member Deborah Lovegrove, herself a top certified instructor and holder of several Canadian skydiving records. Skydive Gananoque that operates out of Gananoque Airport where the Free Flight event was being held, provided the aircraft and pilot.

Interviewed after the jump – Gabriel said “WOW, that was totally awesome, not what I expected!” The students said they want to do it again and hope to get another group together for a skydiving weekend!

Please visit often for information about next years competition and other CASI events.


Here are a few videos of past competitions – for some of you they will bring back memories!