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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics


    Foundation Logo   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: John Blacksten


    University of Southern California Wins 21st Annual Student Design/Build/Fly Competition
    95 Teams from 36 States, The District of Columbia, and 11 Nations Competed

    April 27, 2017 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation congratulates the winning teams in the 2016–2017 Textron Aviation/Raytheon Missile Systems/AIAA Foundation Student Design/Build/Fly (DBF) Competition, held April 20–23, at the Tucson International Modelplex Park Association (TIMPA) Airfield, Tucson, Arizona.

    The team representing the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, won the event’s $2,500 first-place prize, while the team from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, won the event’s $1,500 second-place prize. The competition’s highest placing international team and the winner of the event’s $1,000 third-place prize was the University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

    “Attending the DBF competition is one of the highlights of the year for me,” said Sandy Magnus, AIAA executive director. “It’s exciting to see students from all over the world working hard, united in the goal of getting their aircraft to fly through the event’s challenges. Watching the teamwork that makes this event work so well is exciting and reminds us that the aerospace community is a global one and that events like DBF are very important to develop the ties that unite us as a community. The AIAA Foundation congratulates everyone who took part in this year’s event and thanks you for bringing such excitement and energy to it.”

    Now in its 21st year, the DBF competition encourages and recognizes excellence in aerospace engineering skills at the undergraduate and graduate levels by challenging teams to design and fabricate a radio-controlled aircraft conforming to strict guidelines, submit a written report about the aircraft’s design, and fly their aircraft over a defined course while carrying a payload, and landing it without damage. This year, the design simulated a manually launched unmanned aerial system.

    Official results and rankings for all participants will be available from the DBF website after their final verification and validation. For more information about the Textron Aviation/Raytheon Missile Systems/AIAA Foundation DBF Competition, please visit

    About the AIAA Foundation
    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



    About AIAA
    AIAA is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession. With more than 30,000 individual members from 88 countries, and 95 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