Design, Build, Fly


Sponsored by AIAA, Cessna Aircraft Company, and Raytheon Missile Systems, this annual competition invites graduates and undergrads from across the world to design, build, and test an unmanned, electric powered, remote-controlled airplane that can complete a pre-determined set of tasks. The 2013/2014 competition had participants create a “Rough Field Bush Plane” that could hold at least four pounds of cargo meant to represent two medical attendants and two patients. Last year’s competition had 100 participants and 80 finalists. Teams are ranked based on a score system corresponding to the quality and speed of which a plane completes each mission. Specifics about scoring and more information can be found here.

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DBF Quick Facts:

  • Participates in AIAA’s annual Design-Build- Fly competition
  • Founded in Fall 2011. First successful entry into DBF competition in Spring 2014.
  • Placed 55th out of 100 schools
  • Competition team of 13 undergraduates: 10 Mechanical Engineering majors, 2 EECS majors, and 1 Business major
CalAIAA 2019