2012 AIAA Design, Build and Fly Contest

Competition Rules

The 2012 DBF rules are out!

This year teams are building an RC aircraft to simulate a passenger aircraft.

Similar to previous years the competition is divided into three stages:

  • Mission 1 – Ferry Flight
    • Maximum number of complete laps within a 4 minute flight time
    • A lap is complete when the aircraft passes over the start/finish line in the air
    • Mission score M1= 1 + N_Laps/6
    • Time starts when the throttle is advanced for the (first) take-off (or attempt)
  • Mission 2 – Passenger Flight
    • 3 Lap payload flight.
    • Payload will be 8 simulated passengers
    • Simulated passengers are 1″ x 1″ x 5″ aluminum blocks.  Blocks must be rectangular, edges may be deburred, chamfered or sanded to remove sharp edges.
      – The total passenger load must weigh at least 3.75 lbs as recorded on the official contest scale
    • Simulated  Passengers must be situated with long dimension vertical when aircraft is in flight.
      –  There must be at least 1/2″ open space fore/aft around each passenger and at least 1″ space side-to-side between passengers or columns of passengers.
    • Mission score M2=1.5 + 3.75/Flight_Weight (lbs)
    • Aircraft will be weighed to obtain the Flight_Weight immediately after completion of a successful flight.
  • Mission 3 – Time to Climb
    • Single take-off and climb to 100 m altitude.
    • Payload will be the team supplied “Time End Indicating System” as simulated cargo.
    • Mission score M3= 2 + sqrt( T_avg/T_team)  T_team is the time from advancing the throttle for the initial take-off (or attempt) to altitude.
      – T_avg is the average time to climb of all teams getting a successful score for Mission 3.
    • The “Time End Indicating System” will consist of:
      –  A team designed and fabricated water tank with a minimum capacity of 2L.
      –  The water tank will be fitted with a servo-operated “dump” valve
      –  The water tank may not be pressurized but must be vented to the atmosphere.  A “pitot” style vent is encouraged.
      –  The system must  be designed to release the stored water through an outlet located on the lower exterior surface of the aircraft
      –  The resulting water plume will be utilized by the ground based contest timing officials to indicate when the aircraft has reached the required altitude
      –  It is the team’s responsibility to design the system to provide a water plume sufficient (large a volume and flow rate) to be seen by the starting line judges when the aircraft is at any location on the flight course.  If the water is not dumped or is not adequate to be seen to stop the time the mission will be forfeited.
    • The “Time End Indicating System” will actuate the water release using a Soaring Circuits ( ) CAM- f3q (aero tow model) altimeter circuit.
      –  Information on the CAM-f3q system is available here.
      –  The CAM must be installed inside the fuselage forward of the main (largest) wing.  The fuselage must have a minimum of 3x 1/8″ holes directly above the CAM and on the fuselage top centerline to vent the CAM to the atmosphere.
      The aircraft must not be designed to intentionally create a low pressure area at the CAM device.
      –  Information on obtaining the CAM-f3q will be sent to registered teams following the close of the entries.
    • The water tank will be filled with 2L of water from a plastic soda bottle during the 5 min assembly period.

For full contest rules and more information feel free to visit the AIAA DBF main page at

Meet the Team!

Team Captain Serge Kudinov
Senior Member Vishaan Gungah
Senior Member Anna Chtchetinina
Senior Member Adnan Nsouli
Senior Member Mayank Kalra
Senior Member Patrice Magnan
Senior Member Sebastian Plotkin
Junior Team Captain Patrick Balazinski
Junior Member Mathieu Blouin
Junior Member Méghane Audet

Check out some of the things we’ve been up to:

More updates to come soon.

If you have a strong interest in aerospace and feel you have something valuable to contribute, or if you would simply like to learn more about the design, manufacture and flight process don’t hesitate to contact us!

Concordia University Chapter