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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics


    Foundation Logo   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: John Blacksten


    San Jose State University Wins 20th Annual Student
    Design/Build/Fly Competition
    Event Drew Interest from 137 Teams from 16 Countries and 24 States

    May 10, 2016 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation congratulates the winning teams in the 2015–2016 Textron Aviation/Raytheon Missile Systems/AIAA Foundation Student Design/Build/Fly (DBF) Competition, held April 15–17 at a Textron Aviation airfield in Wichita, Kansas. This year’s competition garnered interest from 137 teams from 24 states and 16 foreign nations, making it the largest DBF competition yet held.

    Team “Cronus” from San Jose State University, San Jose, California, won the event’s $2,500 first prize. Team “Buzzedryoshka”from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, received the $1,500 second-place prize. Team “Electrolyne” from the University of California, Irvine won the $1,000 third-place prize. The team from FH Joanneum, Graz, Austria, was the highest placing foreign team, placing 7th overall.

    “It’s always wonderful to be at DBF and see so many students from all over the world united in the same goal – getting their aircraft to fly, and this year that included flying in high winds and then rain,” said Sandy Magnus, AIAA executive director. “Everyone did a great job, and should be very proud of their efforts. I’m definitely looking forward to next year, which will be the 21st event, and once again experiencing all the excitement and energy DBF generates.”

    “The Design/Build/Fly competition is a great way for students to learn the process of aircraft design in the real world from the initial request for proposal through to the final flight testing,” said David W. Levy, a principal engineer at Textron Aviation and the event’s director. “Participation in the contest helps them to gain the confidence and skills they will need to succeed in our community. I am always amazed by the creativity and tenacity displayed by every team, as well as their dedication to their craft. The lessons they learn here, especially the lessons they didn’t anticipate receiving, will aid them greatly as they go on to establish their careers. Many thanks to Textron Aviation, Raytheon, and AIAA for their continued support of this excellent event!”

    Now in its 20th 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, landing it without damage. This year, the flight segments simulated distributed manufacturing – building subassemblies in various locations and delivering them to another location for final assembly.

    Official results and rankings for all participants will be available from the DBF website after final verification and validation. For more information about the 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
    12700 Sunrise Valley Dr, Suite 200, Reston, VA 20191
    Phone: 703.264.7558 Fax: 703.264.7551