Design. Build. Fly (DBF) is an aviation-based engineering design team. DBF focuses on the creation of a unmanned, electric powered, radio controlled aircraft that is designed to best fit a given mission profile. Each year, a new mission is given which is designed to mimic a real world engineering problem.
The team build, tested, and crashed their first prototypes
a. They are working on a new design currently
Working on mini-prototypes for controls testing
This year, one of the requirements is to have the wings fold so the team is testing their folding wing prototypes.
Drop mechanism in action
The UNL DBF team competed in Wichita, Kansas from April 19th-22nd. The team as a whole was very happy with how things went! The idea behind the aircraft was to build a business/regional type jet that had to accommodate simulated passengers and payload. The competition itself included a ground mission where two components of the aircraft had to be replaced inside a time limit. The next three missions involved an empty flight, a flight with passengers, and a flight with both passengers and payload.
While the weather was not the greatest, the aircraft was able to successfully complete all of the flight missions for the first time in seven years. The team received 30th place out of 97 teams which happened to be UNL's highest placement in more than a decade. The members of the group were able to learn a tremendous amount and are now in an excellent position to build upon the success for next year.
With a new annual mission, students are challenged to propose and test new ideas, while maintaining knowledge of basic engineering principles. DBF involves an extensive design process that gives students opportunities to learn about these engineering principles and explore the steps of an engineer to complete a set goal. Within DBF, students will work with a team of other aspiring students to successfully create an aircraft and compete with other schools from around the world.
Aerodynamics/Manufacturing: Matthew Lyons
Propulsion: Joshua Sorensen
Secretary: April Inamura
Treasurer: Joshua Carlson