• 11/01/2017

ESTECO Sponsors AIAA Student Design/Build/Fly Competition

ESTECO is proud to sponsor the 2016/2017 edition of the Student Design/Build/Fly (DBF) Competition, organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). The contest provides a real-world aircraft design experience for engineering students by giving them the opportunity to validate their analytic studies. We will provide AIAA DBF teams with a free ESTECO Academy membership, including the use of modeFRONTIER multidisciplinary optimization platform and access to our online training materials. 

Student teams will design, fabricate, and demonstrate the flight capabilities of an unmanned, electric powered, radio controlled aircraft (UAV) that can best meet the specified mission profile. The objective for this year is to design a tube-launched UAV, where the UAV must fit complete inside the launch tube also acting as the UAV handling and storage container. Upon removal of the UAV from the launch tube, all folded or stowed surfaces or features must move into the flight condition and the tube must protect the UAV from damage during normal handling and storage. The competing teams must design a UAV and launch tube that minimizes system weight while maximizing speed, range, endurance and payload capacity.

The goal of the contest is to provide students with an opportunity for hands-on engineering that was not available to many of the contest organizers when they attended university. The organizers had also noticed that many of the new graduates entering their companies had no practical experience in design to supplement their theoretical background. As their first assignment with a large aerospace company was typically a small part of the overall design, many of them worked for several years before having the opportunity to see the “big picture” view of how different design decisions interact. With this in mind, the first and foremost objective of the competition has been to remain an educational tool, rather than just a “model airplane” contest.

The participating teams submitted their entry forms and proposals by October. The top 100 proposals plus any ties are invited to submit design reports and potentially become eligible for the Fly-off, scheduled for 20-23 April 2017 at the TAMPA facility in Tucson, AZ. The winning team will receive a $2500 cash prize, the second-best $1500, while the third prize will be  $1000. The first prize winners may be invited to present their design at an AIAA conference. In addition, the team with the best Report Score will receive a $100 prize from the Design Engineering Technical Committee.


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