AIAA Design, Build, Fly Competition

Project number: 
The Simpson Family
Academic year: 
The annual AIAA DBF competition is an international event, hosted in Tucson and Wichita, Kansas, that invites schools from all over the world to design, build and fly an aircraft according to the design requirements that are set each year. Each team must attempt to maximize their possible points earned via scoring guidelines set by the competition. Flight envelope attributes such as endurance, speed and payload weight must be balanced accordingly to create an aircraft that will obtain the highest score.

This year, the schools were tasked with designing an aircraft that is capable of flying three missions, each with their own stipulations. Based on the scoring and competition guidelines, this design must be able to carry a heavy internal payload, mount a vertical antenna to one wingtip and have an endurance of around eight minutes. In addition, the aircraft must be able to disassemble and fit into a box that is compliant with FAA carry-on regulations, limiting battery size and aircraft dimensions. By employing computational fluid dynamics, advanced composite building techniques and rigorous aerodynamic design processes, the University of Arizona team developed a competitive aircraft to represent the school on the international stage.

Project Video

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