August 30, 2022

5th National Aerospace Conceptual Design Competition


Fifth National Aerospace Conceptual Design Competition




National Aeronautical Conceptual Design Competition (NACDeC)

Background: One of the mandates of Aeronautical Society of India, Design Division is to encourage and nurture Aerospace design related activities in the country, especially among the engineering college students, and encourage them to apply their mind to address challenging aerospace design problems relevant to the needs of our country. With this in mind, the Design Division is conducting a yearly National Aerospace Conceptual Design Competition (NACDeC) for students.

Topic for NACDeC-V: In the last decade, unfortunate incidents of urban fire, industrial fire & also forest fire have been recorded in the country. Conventional fire tenders lack ability to control this fire due to several limitations like congested urban roads, tall buildings, insufficient sources like water, fire extinguishing liquid chemicals. Water scooping amphibious planes for fire-fighting can play a major complementary role in handling these unpredictable disasters. Incorporation of water scooping mechanism into indigenous amphibian planes is therefore the first step and major design challenge to be taken up, to make our country self-sufficient.

A total of 45 teams had signed up for NACDeC-V, of which 24 were shortlisted for the second round. Five of these teams have been shortlisted to participate in the final round, which was held along with National Seminar on Aircraft Design on 20th August 2022 at Bengaluru


A Water Scooping Amphibian Aircraft for Fire fighting (WaSAAF) possessing high fire fighting capabilities is designed for both land and water-based application. The aircraft is designed for a mission comprising of two passes, one from the airport to the site of fire, the other after scooping water from a nearby source and back to the fire zone. If there is a lack of water body nearby, the aircraft would return to the airport for refilling of water/fire retardant. A scooping mechanism and jettisoning system is also crafted to suit the requirements. The designed aircraft is analysed in terms of aerodynamics, performance, and stability and optimised until acceptable values conforming to aircrafts belonging to the same category as per the literature survey are obtained. In addition, the various complications suffered by the WaSAAF such as sloshing of water, purposing, centrifugal balance, noise reduction are analysed and necessary preventive measure to improve the stability and safe operation of the aircraft are incorporated into the design. Cost estimation indicated that the operation and acquisition expenses are significantly higher than conventional fire fighting methods, however, the versatility and efficiency of the designed WaSAAF more than makes up for the deficiencies.



Table 1 Our Design Conformance of Critical Requirements






5000 kg of water

or 4500 kg of liquid fire extinguishers


Radius of Operation

200 km from the Water body / Airport



30 minutes/ pass at the fire zone


Cruise speed

>250 km/hr


Take off Distance

<1 km


Landing Distance

<1.5 km


Service ceiling

6 km


Rate of climb

11.13 m/s at Sea Level

1.68 m/s at Service Ceiling


Scooping Mechanism

15 s for 5000 kg of water


Time to scoop in each pass

< 15 s for 5000 kg of water

< 4 minutes for 4500 kg of liquid fire retardant


Jettison System

Disperse varying volume of water/ fire retardant


Hydrodynamic Stability


Cost estimation


Regulatory Requirements




Figure:1 – View of the Aircraft in flight


Figure:2 – View of the Aircraft on Water