The Competition

Miner Aviation competes in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Design Build Fly Competition (DBF). The Executive Board made the decision in 2018 to switch from the SAE Aerospace Competition to AIAA DBF as the old competition was becoming repetitive and nuanced. Now, Miner Aviation is able to try newer and bolder designs like never before. This competition brings different challenges and design aspects every year, testing our team's ability to create original designs and develop our problem solving skills.

AIAA DBF 2020 will take flight over Wichita, Kansas on April 16th-19th, 2020

Overall Mission Task: Banner Towing Bush Plane

The objective for this year is 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.

General Rules:

  • Maximum allowable wingspan is 5 feet
  • The aircraft must fly with the banner deployment, towing and release mechanism(s) installed for all missions
  • A second transmitter may be used for deployment and release of the banner only but can only be operated by the Observer crew member
  • Payloads:
    • Mission 1 – no payload
    • Mission 2 – passengers and luggage
      • All passengers and luggage must be secured sufficiently to assure safe flight without possible shift of aircraft CG outside of design limits during flight
    • Mission 3 – deployable banner
  • Passenger and luggage requirements:
    • The passenger can be commercially procured or manufactured of any material or combination of materials as long as it meets the required dimensions of the official rules document linked below.
    • Each passenger must have a minimum weight of 4 ounces. If the passenger is purchased, weight must be added, if necessary, to achieve the weight requirement without changing the dimensions of listed.
    • The passengers must be carried in a single passenger compartment on a single plane parallel to the horizontal plane while in flight.
    • The passengers must be oriented in a vertical position and cannot touch other passengers or any part of the aircraft other than the restraint system.
    • All passengers must be sufficiently restrained to prevent movement during all phases of flight, including landing (passengers cannot rely on other passengers as a form of restraint).
    • There must be one piece of luggage for each passenger. The luggage must have minimum dimensions as listed in the official rules document linked below.
    • Each piece of luggage must have a minimum weight of 1ounce.
    • The luggage must be carried in front of and/or behind the passengers.
    • The luggage must be restrained to prevent movement during all phases of flight, including landing. The luggage restraint must be independent of the passenger restraint system.
  • Deployable banner requirements:
    • The banner must have a minimum length of 10 inches and a maximum aspect ratio (length/height) of 5 (for the required minimum length of 10 inches, the required minimum height must be 2 inches and for longer banners, length </= 5 X height)
    • The banner must have the team’s university name or logo on both sides
    • The banner must be compactly stowed externally to the aircraft for take-off. While stowed, the banner cannot interfere with any flight or control functions. Examples include: a) cannot inhibit movement or performance of any flight control surface; b) cannot touch the ground during takeoff, especially during rotation
    • The banner must be remotely deployed in flight
    • The banner must remain in the vertical orientation during flight
    • The banner must be remotely released from the aircraft in flight
    • The banner cannot fray, rip, tear or otherwise sustain any wear or damage during the flight, including ground impact after release (does not apply to the tow line or any replaceable banner tow structure). Any damage to the banner must be repaired and approved in tech inspection
    • Each team may have multiple banners to achieve a desired M3 score. All banners must be included in the original tech inspection. Additional banners cannot be added after tech inspection is complete.

In-Depth Rules:

To read more about the rules for our competition this year, please see the official rules document by clicking on the AIAA DBF logo below: