Design Build Fly
AIAA Celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Design, Build, Fly 15–18 April 2021
AIAA Announces 2021 Design, Build, Fly Competition Rules

Teams are invited to participate in the 25th Design, Build. Fly competition. The objective for this year is to design, build and test a UAV with a towed sensor. Missions will include delivery of the UAV, transportation of sensors in shipping containers and surveillance by deploying, operating, and recovering a towed sensor.

AIAA and the DBF Organizing Committee are continuously monitoring the situation involving the COVID 19 impact on the ability to conduct the in-person fly-off in Tucson next April. Contingency plans are being developed and will be published when the teams selected for the competition are announced no later than 20 November.


Georgia Tech

RWTH Aachen University

University of Washington

Watch all of the 2020 videos on AIAA's YouTube channel.

About Design/Build/Fly

The 2020/2021 AIAA Design, Build, Fly competition will celebrate its 25th year. Started in 1996 by the AIAA Applied Aerodynamics, Aircraft Design and Flight Test Technical Committees as an opportunity for university students to apply real-world aircraft design experience by giving them the opportunity to validate their analytic studies.

Student teams will design, fabricate, and demonstrate the flight capabilities of an unmanned, electric powered, radio-controlled aircraft which can best meet the specified mission profile. The goal is a balanced design possessing good demonstrated flight handling qualities and practical and affordable manufacturing requirements while providing a high vehicle performance.

To encourage innovation and maintain a fresh design challenge for each new year’s participants, the design requirements and performance objective will be updated for each new contest year. The changes will provide new design requirements and opportunities, while allowing for application of technology developed by the teams from prior years.