Success Story

On Tuesday 10 November 2015, the joanneum Aeronautics Team held its Succes Story event. In the building of the Engineering Department, many people gathered to listen to the exciting stories, told by the members of both the Design-Build-Fly team and the Precision Flight Team. In addition to that, the yearly Aviation Awards of the Aviation Faculty were awarded by the head of the faculty, Prof. Dr. Holger Flühr.

Bernhard Schreckensperger presented the story of the DBF team. He showed the audience the motivation for the foundation of the joanneum Aeronautics and what it takes to found such an organization. He explained that the association plays an important role in giving the members the opportunity to apply their learned skills in a practical environment und truly bonds the students of the IMG_001several years in the bachelor and master program.

Of course the exciting adventure of taking part in the AIAA DBF Contest was discussed as well. Taking part in such a contest at the other side of the world is a big happening itself, let alone being the first team of a university to take part in it! And the results were satisfying: a 1st place overall for the three flight missions, the 22nd place for the report and the round mission/rated aircraft costs together resulted in the 26th place overall. Aside of these statistical results, probably the most important result is the experience the team members have gained. Bernhard also said that they not only have learned a lot by working on a real-world case, they also enjoyed the travel experience in the USA.

The ’15-’16 DBF Team is already enjoying the same interesting journey during the aircraft development phase and looks forward to the contest at Cessna Field in Wichita!

Final resume

The joanneum Aeronautics team at the DBF15

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.


Special award for the best team uniforms


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!

Third day

With a short delay a new update from the last competition day. Our team is very proud to announce, that we have reached the 24th or 25th place at the DBF contest in tucson. The exact results will be published soon on the DBF homepage!

Anyway we are very happy to have reached this great rank considering, that it’s our first year of participation. Here is our latest video blog from the US.


Second day

The second competition day is now over. The joanneum Aeronautics team has successfully finished all the missions at the AIAA Design/Build/Fly contest in Tucson.

We were able to improve our result at the ground mission (loading the cargo into the aircraft in the least possible time). The time which was achieved is really good now. Also the score from mission 2 (cargo transportation flight) was improved. Afterwards the joanneum Aeronautics team was at the turn for mission three (dropping wiffle balls over a certain area). We were able to drop all of our 11! balls in the target zone, which was even reported on the official AIAA twitter account.


In the course of Sunday our final position in the ranking will be announced. We are very confident about our performance, therefore a good result is nearly guaranteed.

Here are some twitter hash tags you can monitor in addition:


First day

The first day off the DBF contest in Tucson is over. Here is a short summary for all off our fans out there: The technical inspection went really well, also the wing bending test. For our first mission we were able to fly 6 laps, which is a great score. We also did the first attempt of the ground mission attempt. Our next report will be available soon. Stay tuned!

Arrival at Tucson

In the last hours the joanneum Aeronautics team has arrived in Tucson. Before the contest starts, the aircraft is reassembled and small repairs are done. In addition the team will check out the competition site and the team aeras at TIMPA airfield. Our team will report in daily with the lastest news from the USA.