2017/18 Contest Year
19 – 22 APRIL 2018


Download DBF Rules

In the event that, due to time or facility limitations, it is not possible to allow all teams to have the maximum number of flight attempts, the contest committee reserves the right to ration and/or schedule flights. The exact determination of how to ration flights will be made on the contest day based on the number of entries, weather, and field conditions. In the event of a tie, Report Score will take precedence over Flight Score as a tie-breaker.


Students must design, document, fabricate, and demonstrate the aircraft they determine to be capable of achieving the highest score on the specified mission profile(s). Mission scores will be based on the demonstrated mission performance obtained during the contest.

Each team must also submit a written Design Report. A maximum of 100 points will be awarded for the team design report. The overall team score is a combination of the Design Report score, Total Mission Score, and Rated Aircraft Cost (RAC). The team with the highest overall team score will be declared the winner. Scores will be FINAL 7 working days after the completion of the contest. This period will allow for review of the scores in a timely fashion following the contest.

All submitted reports are the property of AIAA, Textron Aviation and Raytheon Missile Systems and may be published or reproduced at their discretion.

Units of Measure

The units of measure for scoring will be based on the US English system. All times or physical measurements will be rounded to the number of decimal places shown in Table 1. Conventional rounding will be implemented ( < 0.5 - -> round down, >= 0.5 - -> round up).


Total Score

Each team's overall score will be computed from their Written Report Score, Total Mission Score and Rated Aircraft Cost using the formula:

SCORE = Written Report Score * Total Mission Score / RAC

The Total Mission Score is the sum of the individual Mission Scores:

Total Mission Score = M1 + M2 + M3

The RAC is a function of aircraft empty weight and maximum wing span:

RAC = EWmax * WS

EWmax = Maximum aircraft empty weight recorded after each successful mission in pounds (lbs); aircraft empty weight does not include the payload but does include any payload supports or restraints and batteries
WS = Longest distance between wingtips measured perpendicular to the axis of the fuselage in inches (in)

Learn More

AIAA DBF UAV Design Project 2015:
The Journey

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Purdue AIAA DBF 2015 FT1
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2015 UML AIAA - Design Build Fly Video