2015/16 Contest Year
20th Annual Event

Rules and Vehicle Design

Updates List: What's new

The AIAA through the Applied Aerodynamics, Aircraft Design, Design Engineering and Flight Test Technical Committees and the AIAA Foundation invites all university students to participate in the Cessna/Raytheon Missile Systems Student Design/Build/Fly competition. The contest will provide a real-world aircraft design experience for engineering students by giving them the opportunity to validate their analytic studies.

Student teams will design, fabricate, and demonstrate the flight capabilities of an unmanned, electric powered, radio controlled aircraft which can best meet the specified mission profile. The goal is a balanced design possessing good demonstrated flight handling qualities and practical and affordable manufacturing requirements while providing a high vehicle performance.

To encourage innovation and maintain a fresh design challenge for each new years participants, the design requirements and performance objective will be updated for each new contest year. The changes will provide new design requirements and opportunities, while allowing for application of technology developed by the teams from prior years.

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Notice:  Questions submitted prior to Oct 31, 2015 will not be answered directly or via the Q&A.  Please resubmit them to be addressed in the Q&A.

2015/16 Contest Season: 20th

 Contest Rules (31Oct15)
 Competition Final Results Summary [download]  (25Apr2016)
 1st Place Report:  San Jose State University [download] (25Apr2016)
 2nd Place Report and Top Paper Score:  Georgia Institute of Technology [download] (25Apr2016)
 3rd Place Report:  University of California, Irvine  [download] (25Apr2016)
Submission Procedures for Proposal and Final Report (2Dec15)
Entry Period Is Closed (31Oct15)
2015/16 Final Team Report List (31Mar16)
Pre-Tech Form (31Mar16)
Q&A (04Dec15)
Proposal Requirements (23Nov15)
 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)  ***  New and Updated  *** (30Sep15)

Instructions for AIAA DBF Logo Use

DBF Logo Use

AIAA DBF Conference Paper

Writing the Rules: An inside Look at the AIAA Student Design/Build/Fly Competition, C. Bovais, Naval Research Lab, Washington, DC; D. Levy, Cessna Aircraft Company, Wichita, KS; G. Page, ITT Advanced Engineering Sciences, Alexandria, VA; S. Powell, , Manchester, TN; M. Selig, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL; and T. Zickuhr, Cessna Aircraft Company, Wichita, KS. Presented at then 6th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration and Operations Conference (ATIO), AIAA-2006-7832, Sept 2006.
This paper distributed with permission of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.

Email Notice

Check your e-mail! If you did not receive the Team Welcome and Q&A #1 e-mails then your team supplied e-mail address is not working! Check your e-amil addresses you supplied on your entry form and if needed send a correction ASAP. It is the team's responsibility to make sure they receive all DBF e-mail. Failure to receive updates/changes due to your e-mail system will not be accepted as a reason for failure to comply with contest rules/revisions. Check to make sure that all of the e-mail accounts you provided are set to allow e-mail from the contest officials. (11/14/07)

Resources for DBF Teams

Companies making special offers to AIAA DBF teams are being listed here. These offers are unsolicted and are not officially endorsed by the DBF Team Organizers, this website or the AIAA. Engineering or model airplane related resources will be passed along, and teams can decide whether or not to take advantage of these offers.

MachUp is airframe design, analysis, and optimization software just released this year. It offers a user-friendly web-based GUI for initial design, and a downloadable "Pro" version that links to Matlab and/or Python for detailed design, optimization, or parameter sweeps. Blucraft offers full MachUp licensing to DBF teams for free. Go to www.blucraft.com or email info@blucraft.com to learn more. (08/17/15)
CD Adapco CD-adapco will sponsor your team by offering access to STAR-CCM+, including free training.  For more information, email   academic-us@cd-adapco.com. (10/14/12)
SolidWorks will sponsor your team by offering SolidWorks for use with the AIAA DBF contest. Type in "AIAA DBF" when filling out the online form. (11/10/06)
MSC software is providing a special offer to AIAA DBF teams for their engineering simulation software. Visit their Academic website to obtain additional information. (12/19/08)

Links: Unofficial DBF Web Pages (General and Teams)

David Reynolds 2015 DBF Pictures (added 8/20/15)
Rip Unzel 2015 DBF Pictures (added 8/20/15)
R Bramlette 2011 DBF Pictures (added 5/2/11)
M Ciuryla 2011 DBF Pictures (added 4/25/11)
Rip's 2011 DBF Pictures (added 5/13/11)
R Bramlette 2010 DBF Pictures (added 4/26/10)

Past Contests

2014-2015 Contest Information
2013-2014 Contest Information
2012-2013 Contest Information
2011-2012 Contest Information
2010-2011 Contest Information
2009-2010 Contest Information
2008-2009 Contest Information
2007-2008 Contest Information
2006-2007 Contest Information
2005-2006 Contest Information
2004-2005 Contest Information
2003-2004 Contest Information
2002-2003 Contest Information
2001-2002 Contest Information
2000-2001 Contest Information
1999-2000 Contest Information
1998-1999 Contest Information
1997-1998 Contest Information
1996-1997 Contest Information

The members of the AIAA Applied Aerodynamics, Aircraft Design, Design Engineering and Flight Test Technical Committees and the AIAA Foundation look forward to your participation. Please direct questions by e-mail to the DBF Contest Director at (director@aiaadbf.org).

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