Slovenia’s University of Ljubljana Wins 23rd Annual Student Design/Build/Fly Competition Written 15 April 2019

CONTACT: John Blacksten  

Teams from 21 Nations Competed

April 15, 2019 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation congratulates the winning teams in the 2018–2019 Textron Aviation/Raytheon Missile Systems/AIAA Foundation Student Design/Build/Fly (DBF) Competition, held April 11–14, at the Tucson International Modelplex Park Association (TIMPA) Airfield, Tucson, Arizona.  

The team representing the University of Ljubljana (pictured right) won the event’s $2,500 first-place prize, while the team from Georgia Tech won the event’s $1,500 second-place prize. The winner of the event’s $1,000 third-place prize was Austria’s FH Joanneum of Applied Sciences. 

The University of Southern California won the “best report” award.  

Out of 104 eligible teams, 77 competed. Twenty-one teams were international. The competing teams comprised 785 students. There were 96 successful flights, and 26 teams completed all three missions.  

“Hands-on experience is the best way to learn how to become an engineer and there are few better teachers than the Design/Build/Fly contest,” said Dan Dumbacher, AIAA executive director. “I applaud all the teams here for a job well done!”  

Now in its 23rd 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 multi-purpose aircraft to support carrier operations. 

“More than 30 years ago, I was part of the MIT team that designed and built the record-setting human-powered Daedalus aircraft,” said John Langford, AIAA president and CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences, a Boeing company. “The sight of it flying inspires me to this day. I am certain many of these teams will be inspired for years to come by the work and comradery they experienced at DBF.” 

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

*View DBF 2019 Photos

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 
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 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,, or follow us on Twitter  @AIAA.


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