Design Build Fly
AIAA Celebrates the 27th Annual Design/Build/Fly Competition | 13–16 April 2023 | Tucson, AZ (USA)
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    AIAA Announces 2023 AIAA Design/Build/Fly Draft Rules and Mission

    Teams are invited to participate in the 27th Design/Build/Fly competition, hosted by Raytheon Technologies in Tucson, AZ. The mission for 2023 is to design, build and test an aircraft to execute electronic warfare (EW) missions. Flight missions will include staging of the aircraft, surveillance, and jamming. 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 access the 2023 rules document, please visit the Rules/Resources page.

    Submit Now

    For questions, please contact us at studentprogram@aiaa.org.

     2023 Fly-Off

    The 2023 Design/Build/Fly will be held at Tucson International Modelplex Park Association (TIMPA) in Tucson, AZ, 13–16 April 2023. The final rules will be released at the end of October. For more information on TIMPA, visit www.timpa.org.

    International teams needing a letter of invitation for the purposes of obtaining a visa to enter the United States may only request such a letter after their proposals have been accepted they have been invited to participate in the fly-off.

  • All teams and spectators attending DBF, please use #AIAADBF when you Tweet, post to your Instagram stories, or share on Facebook. Please make sure you’re following AIAA and you might get retweeted/shared!

  • Contact for Questions:

    Technical or Rules Questions: director@aiaadbf.org
    Submission Portal or Event Questions: studentprogram@aiaa.org


DBF 2019 Winners Group

2022 Design/Build/Fly Flyoff winning teams.

 2023 DBF Timeline of Milestone Dates

Please note that dates denoted with an asterisk(*) are tentative. All dates are subject to change. Check back periodically for updates. 

  • 7 September 2022: DBF Draft Rules posted
  • 15–31 October 2022: DBF Proposal Submission window
  • 7 November 2022: DBF Rules finalized and posted*
  • 18 November 2022: DBF Round 1 Proposal Results Posted to the rules/resources page and decisions sent to teams
  • 18 November 2022: DBF Q&A #1 posted to the Rules/Resources page and e-mailed to teams*
  • 12 January 2023: DBF Q&A #2 posted to the Rules/Resources page and e-mailed to teams*
  • 31 January 2023: DBF Q&A #3 posted to the Rules/Resources page and e-mailed to teams*
  • 1–25 February 2023: Design Report Submission window on http://www.aiaa-awards.org
    • Opens at 0800hrs ET on 1 February and closes at 1700hrs ET on 25 February
  • 1 April 2023: Schedule of Fly-off Activities posted to Competition Information
  • 13–16 April 2023: DBF Fly-off in Tucson, AZ
  • 2 May 2023: DBF 2023 Fly-off scores, competition summary, and report comments distributed to teams.
The 2022 DBF Organizing Committee
The AIAA DBF Organizing Committee, (standing from left to right) - Jon Cutshall, Chris Bovais (Flight Line Director), Brian Richardet, Kyle Benson, Rob Roedts, Ed Feltrop, Chase Ashton, Russ Althof (Committee Director), Matt Angiulo (Not Pictured: Taylor Fazzini, Brian McGrath)

About Design/Build/Fly

The 2022-2023 Design/Build/Fly Competition will celebrate its 27th year. Started in 1996 by the AIAA Applied Aerodynamics, Aircraft Design, Design Engineering 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.