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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

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    16th Annual Event Drew 55 Teams from 28 States and 12 Foreign Countries

    April 23, 2012 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) congratulates the winners of the 2011–2012 Cessna Aircraft Company/Raytheon Missile Systems/AIAA Foundation Student Design/Build/Fly (DBF) Competition, held April 13–15 at Cessna Aircraft Company’s Cessna Field, Wichita, Kan. The DBF Competition, which encourages and recognizes excellence in aerospace engineering skills at the undergraduate and graduate level, drew 55 teams from 28 states and 12 foreign countries. Despite the best efforts of the organizers, this year’s DBF was shortened due to severe weather that extended through two of the competition’s three days. Final results were based on the team’s written report and the scores of each team’s first two flight opportunities.

    The winning team, “PhalanX” from San Jose State University, San Jose, Calif., received the $2,500 first place award. Team “Angel of Attack,” from The University of California, Irvine, Calif., received the $1,500 second place prize. Team “H2BuffalO” from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colo., received the $1,000 third place prize.

    One of the event’s organizers, David W. Levy, a senior engineering specialist for aerosciences and computational fluid dynamics at Cessna Aircraft Company, stated: “The AIAA Design/Build/Fly Competition provides a real-world aircraft design experience for teams of engineering students by giving them a ‘hands-on’ opportunity to validate their analytic studies. This is an essential part of engineering, as the final product does not always perform as expected. Almost all engineers will learn this lesson at some point in their careers, preferably before they enter the workforce.”

    Now in its 16th year, the Cessna Aircraft Company/Raytheon Missile Systems/AIAA Foundation Design/Build/Fly Competition challenges teams of undergraduate and graduate students to design and fabricate a radio-controlled aircraft conforming to strict guidelines, fly it over a defined course while carrying a payload, and land it without damage. The judges also evaluate the written design report submitted by each team with its aircraft. The final score is a combination of the points awarded for an aircraft’s flights and for its design report. For more information about the AIAA Design/Build/Fly Competition, visit


    The AIAA Foundation seeks to “make it exciting, make it empowering, and make it fun.” That simple, compelling philosophy drives the Foundation’s commitment to math, science, and technology education. The AIAA Foundation offers a wealth of resources to support educators from K–12 through university: scholarships, classroom grants, design competitions, and student conferences, improving scientific literacy and advancing the arts and sciences of aerospace. For more information on the AIAA Foundation and its programs for students, teachers, and professionals, please visit

    AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 35,000 individual members worldwide, and 90 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit



    American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 500, Reston, VA 20191-4344
    Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551