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AIAA Design-Build-Fly Competition


This competition involves designing, fabricating, and demonstrating 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.

Our Design

Over both semesters we go through a complete design and manufacturing process to create our entry. This means starting from scratch and using aerodynamic principles and modeling software to investigate a configuration that fits our needs the best. Research is done on all aspects of airplane design and it culminates in a completely new airframe, which has been modeled in SolidWorks and tested using FEA and CFD software such as SolidWorks Simulation and StarCCM+. This process is almost identical to that of building a new full scale airframe and offers invaluable experience for those members who want to get involved in real life work environment.


After the design has been finalized and all the simulations are done the manufacturing begins. All parts of the airframe are made by members of the team using the tools and equipment owned by the club, as well as some more specialized machines owned by other university organizations. All of these parts are then assembled into the final product and the electronics are installed, completing the airframe. Flight testing is then done to ensure that everything performs to specifications.


Check back after competition in the spring to see how RU Airborne performs!