On April the 10th 2015, the joanneum Aeronautics Team finally arrived in Tucson (AZ) where the annual Design, Build, Fly contest takes place. The event sponsored by Cessna and Raytheon encourages students from all over the world to design, build and fly a radio-controlled aircraft. To challenge the students the rules and the mission profile is different every year. In 2015 each team had to fly 3 different missions:
- Maximum laps completed in 4 minutes
- 3 lap timed flight with a 2.5 kg payload
- Drop as many balls as possible, one per lap
The flight order was determined from the written report result of each team. This leaded to the starting position 22 – with only 2 non-english speaking universities in front of the Aeronautics team – which gave the team a great motivational push for the upcoming missions.
Only 2 seconds before the 4 minute limit of mission 1 the jA14 crossed the finish line for the 6th time – only two teams were able to beat this score. During the second day of the competition the payload mission had to be flown. Some teams were struggling with the weight, which resulted in many spectacular crashes. The Aeronautics team however was confident because of the uncountable flight tests in Graz and was still motivated from the excellent result from the first competition day.
With a flight time of 2 minutes the team secured another top scoring for mission 2, only three teams were able to complete the three laps faster. On Sunday the joanneum Aeronautics aligned on the runway for their specialty-mission. After 15 minutes of flight time and 11 dropped balls the jA14 landed safely cheered by the spectators – with 3 more balls dropped than everyone else the joanneum Aeronautics clearly surpassed the rest of the competitors.
At the end of the competition the joanneum Aeronautics received the highest flight score from the 100 present teams. However the weight and report score was also taken into account for the overall rating, therefore the team was ranked as 26th – still an awesome result for a rookie-team. Place one in the overall ranking is University of Ljubljana in front of University of California Irvine and Georgia Institute of Technology.
The joanneum Aeronautics team would like to thank our sponsors for supporting our team! THANK YOU!