The Columbia University American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) branch is committed to participating in the annual AIAA DBF competition. The official website for the AIAA Design-Build-Fly competition describes the event as one that "will provide a real-world aircraft design experience for engineering students by giving them the opportunity to validate their analytic studies."
That still begs the question as to what exactly we do. In short, we draw ideas, research components, test designs, and eventually end up with a plane that is able to complete the three specified missions for the competition. Each year the mission specifications change and we must begin anew creating a unique design to fulfill the requirements of the annual challenge. This year the proposed aircraft must successfully emulate a bush plane, conducting safe charter flights by being equipped with effective restraint systems. The aircraft must also be capable of emulating a banner towing aircraft, capable of deploying, towing, and releasing a banner. We greatly rely upon work done by our predecessors, yet each year we delve further into testing, designing, and researching the optimal design for our plane.See more about previous year's teams on our blog and our history page.