Writing the rules: An inside look at the AIAA student design/build/fly competition

Christopher Bovais, David W. Levy, Gregory Page, Stan Powell, Michael Selig, Tom Zickuhr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The Cessna/ONR Student Design/Build/Fly contest has recently completed its 10th year. The competition was founded as a "hands on" student experience to enhance their knowledge and ability to work in an industry environment after graduation. The vehicle for this experience is to design, build, and fly an electric R/C airplane to achieve a specified objective (range, payload, speed, etc). The winner is determined by the best combination of written report and flight performance, the latter determined at the competition flyoff. The initial DBF proposal was a "grass roots" effort - engineer driven by members of the AIAA Technical Committees - and it has kept this flavor throughout its history. This nature has been one of the keys to the success of the contest. Also key was the desire to keep the competition fresh, by continually challenging the students with new design objectives every year. This also requires a fresh look by the organizing committee at writing the rules, with continued attempts to learn from the previous years' experience. As always, however, the law of unintended consequences prevails, and new lessons await the students and the organizers together each year. As the Design/Build/Fly competition moves forward into its next decade, we anticipate many surprises, hopefully most of them good ones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - 6th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
Pages1240-1251
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)1563478250, 9781563478253
DOIs
StatePublished - 2006
Event6th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference - Wichita, KS, United States
Duration: Sep 25 2006Sep 27 2006

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - 6th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference
Volume2

Other

Other6th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWichita, KS
Period9/25/069/27/06

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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