The competition took place from 19-22 April 2018 in Wichita, Kansas. The task was to design a dual purpose regional and business aircraft, which should be capable of transporting passengers in form of bouncy balls and cargo in form of payload blocks. The performance and capabilities of the aircraft had to be demonstrated in three different flight missions. Furthermore, there was an additional ground mission.

The joanneum Aeronautics Team reached the 16th rank in the DBF-2018 competition. Learn more about the days of the Contest 2018 in Wichita >>

Flight Mission

For the flight missions passengers and payload blocks had to be carried internally in the aircraft.

Mission 1 – Demonstration Flight
Mission 2 – Short Haul of Max
Mission 3 – Long Haul of Passengers and Payload

Passengers were bouncy balls with variation in size between 27 – 49 mm and in weight between 0.40 – 2.39 ounces.

Payload blocks were rectangular cuboids with L + W + H greater than or equal to 9 inches and may not weigh more than 8 ounces.

Ground Mission

During the ground mission parts of the aircraft had to be replaced in form of Line Replaceable Units (LRU).
The part which had to be replaced was determined by rolling a dice.

Stage 1

Time limit: 3 minutes
LRU defined as:
1: Servo
2: Rx Battery
3: Main Propulsion Battery
4: Control pushrod or pull-pull cable
5: Landing Gear wheel
6: Propeller

Stage 2

Time limit: 5 minutes
LRU defined as
1: ESC – Electronic Speed Control
2: Control Surface
3: Rx – Receiver
4: Main Landing Gear
5: Motor
6: Roll Again


The design of the aircraft was one of the major factors for a top placement in the contest aside from the flight missions. To achieve a high score various design parameters had to be taken into account. The most important ones for the contest 2018 were

  • Number of passengers and payload blocks carried during flight missions
  • Empty weight of the aircraft
  • Wingspan

The total score was calculated based on a formula. In general, the goal was to minimize wingspan and empty weight of the aircraft while maximizing the number of passengers and payload blocks carried.