Design/Build/Fly !

Help send our Design Build Fly team to Wichita, Kansas!

Design/Build/Fly !
  • $1,745

    pledged of $5,000

    • 26


    • 0


This project received pledges on Sun 15 Mar 2020

We need your support!

We are building a plane to compete in AIAA's annual Design/Build/Fly competition, hosted in Wichita, Kansas. You can help our team get there!


The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is a professional society for the field of aerospace engineering. Every year, AIAA hosts Design/Build/Fly (DBF), a collegiate competition where teams create and fly remote-controlled aircraft. We've qualified to compete 3 times, once in 2018, once in 2019, and once more this year--2020.

In 2018, we placed 86th out of 91 schools that competed.

In 2019 we placed 50th out of 104 schools that competed.

In 2020, the sky is the limit!!!

This year's competition

In the 2020 DBF Competition, we have been tasked to design, build and test a banner towing bush plane, conduct charter flights to pay for the aircraft and start a banner towing business on the coast of Southern California. The plane must carry passengers and luggage, deploy a banner, and satisfy an extensive set of criteria.

OUr Progress

Prototype #1

We have started prototyping much earlier than previous years. Our first prototype is a Canard type aircraft characterized by a small, forward wing and a farther back main wing. A computer aided design model of the plane is shown below.

After modeling the plane, the prototype was built. From coming up with the preliminary design to building the real life prototype, the process took about 13 weeks. The built version of Prototype #1 can be seen below.

Once we built the plane, we watched it fly.

Our team is very proud of the large strides we have made so far.

With your contribution, we can make it to the finish line. You will be helping students develop their skills as real-world engineers and giving UMBC the chance to compete in a nationally-recognized engineering design competition.

funding distribution

  • Airfare/Food/Lodging for up to 10 of our team members ---- $500 per person
  • All additional funding raised above our goal will go towards next year's Design/Build/Fly project

We appreciate every single donation, no matter how small.

Please share our campaign with your networks! A single share of our donation page through Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, etc. will get us closer to our goal. Thank you, in advance, for your generosity! 

Learn more about the competition here, or check out our team on Facebook, myUMBC, or Instagram.

All contributions raised are administered by the UMBC Foundation for the benefit of UMBC.