Who are we?
Design Build Fly at Virginia Tech is a student led design team competing in the AIAA Design, Build, Fly competition. Our team is dedicated to enriching the education of both graduating seniors and underclassmen in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech by providing dynamic, hands on experience.
Each year, our team competes in the annual Design Build Fly competition hosted by Textron Aviation and Raytheon Missile Systems. The competition consists of designing an unmanned, electric powered, radio controlled aircraft that must complete three flight missions and one ground mission with different scoring equations for each mission; the goal is a balanced design possessing good, demonstrated flight handling qualities and practical and affordable manufacturing requirements while providing a high vehicle performance.
This year's competition calls for a humanitarian mission of delivering vaccination components. The designed aircraft must have a maximum linear dimension of eight feet and must carry vaccination supplies. The first mission requires the aircraft to be flown for three laps within five minutes while carrying no payload as a proof of flight. Mission two then calls for the aircraft to carry as many syringes as possible for three laps within five minutes, in which the aircraft will be scored for the number of syringes and flight time. For mission three, the aircraft will be loaded with vaccine vial packages containing 5g shock sensors. The aircraft must fly one lap, land, taxi to a specified location, and deploy one vaccine vial package. From there, the aircraft taxis back to the start line to takeoff and repeat the process as many times as possible within 10 minutes. If the vaccine vial packages experience a load greater than 5g then that deployment is not considered to be successful. This mission is scored on the number of successful deployments.
How does your gift help?
Each year, we completely redesign our aircraft from scratch. This keeps every competition fresh and full of new design opportunities, but also costs us significantly more. We create between 4 to 6 aircraft each year which can easily cost more than $1,000 each. Additionally, our competition consumes half of our yearly budget to drive as many members as possible, free of charge, across the country for a week.
Your support will greatly help us to create better aircraft and push us towards earning first place. Additionally, the more funds that we raise allows us to bring additional members to competition, helping shape the leads for future years.
For the 2017-2018 team, the competition called for a dual purpose regional and business aircraft. The team entered the competition with a flying wing design which held a single passenger to minimize the weight and span of the aircraft. Although the competition was designed to optimize the number of passengers, an in-depth scoring analysis found that decreasing the weight and span of the aircraft would result in the highest score possible. The efforts proved successful as the team placed 2nd out of a total of 96 teams. In 2015-2016, the team placed 4th overall with a plane that had to carry another smaller plane inside it. These successes set a wonderful precedence and will push the team to continue reaching for 1st place.
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LinkedIn: Design Build Fly at Virginia Tech (VT DBF)