Miner Aviation Mid-Year Update

by Sam Weiler | January 24, 2022

Hello All! This is Sam Weiler, President of Miner Aviation this year. We’ve made a lot of progress this year already, so I’d like to start by introducing this year’s competition! We are tasked with completing a “Humanitarian Mission”. The mission models a vaccine delivery mission, requiring us to carry syringes and force sensitive ‘vial packages’. As usual, AIAA Design/Build/Fly is broken up into three flight missions, and one ground mission. The mission rules are outlined below.

The Competition

This year's competition is hosted by Textron Aviation, located in Wichita, KS, and will run from April 21-24, 2022.

Ground Mission:

The ground mission tasks us to verify the flight mission configurations and prepare for our flight missions, while on the ground. It is a timed mission, and requires a team member to load and unload the syringes and vials, as quickly as possible. Teams are scored based on how quickly they can complete this mission.

Mission 1: Deployment Flight

Mission 1 is the simplest of the three flight missions, and requires us to take off, fly 3 laps around the course, and land within 5 minutes. There is no extra payload for completing this mission. Each team that completes the mission receives one point towards their final score.


Mission 2: Staging Flight


Mission 2 requires teams to carry syringes, as if delivering them to a vaccine site. We have to carry at least 10, and receive more points the more syringes we carry. We will load our plane with our anticipated number of syringes (a team secret for now!) and take off. We then have to fly 3 laps as fast as possible. Our score is based on the ratio of syringes and flight time.

Mission 3: Vaccine Delivery Flight

Mission 3 tasks us to carry and deliver force sensitive boxes, to model vaccine vials. During this mission, we must take off, fly a single lap, land, and drop a vial package. We then take off and do it again.


Throughout the course of the mission, if any of the packages experience an acceleration of 25G’s or more, that package doesn’t count towards our total. The more packages we are able to successfully deliver, the higher score we receive.

Vial Package

Current Progress

Miner Aviation has been busy this year working to design the best competition aircraft we can. I can’t talk too much about it yet, as we don’t want to reveal too much information before competition, but I will say that it is one of the largest airplanes Miner Aviation has built since we joined the AIAA Design/Build/Fly! I will include one picture of our aircraft so far, as a sneak peak of our design (Our Propulsion Lead, Mason Phillips for scale!). Our Chief Engineer and Subteam Leads are also hard at work on our Design Report, a 60 page report detailing our entire design process and final configuration. Stay tuned on our social media pages for more regular updates if you want to learn more!


Mason Philips, Propulsion Lead, pictured with this year's wing design.

Sam Weiler

Miner Aviation President

Learn more about the competition below!

Follow Us On Social Media