About Us

Design Build Fly (DBF) is a student-run organization established at San Diego State University (SDSU) in 1997 to compete in the Design Build Fly Competition.

The Design Build Fly Competition is an international university competition hosted each year in the spring by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Cessna Aircraft Company, and Raytheon Missile Systems.

The main objective of the competition is changed annually so that each year, students have the opportunity to design and manufacture an original unmanned, electric powered, radio controlled aircraft while still complying to the rules of the competition.

This competition allows students to test their engineering knowledge, skills, and abilities against other university students from all across the world.

SDSU DBF competed in the past and we were able to take home 1st place in 2003, 2nd place in 2013, 6th place in 2002, and 8th place in 2014, each while competing with over 100 different schools. Most recently, SDSU DBF placed 21st place in the 2021 DBF competition, ranking us within the top 25% and as the best scoring school in California in 2021. Each year, we continue to aim for the 1st place spot and strive to produce the best aircraft we can.

Our Vision

To build the best aircraft, write the best report, and obtain top marks in the Design Build Fly competition so that we can take home the 1st place trophy each year as a force to be reckoned with.

Our Mission

To apply what we’ve learned at San Diego State University to engineer the best performing aircraft and create the next generation of leading engineers in the Aerospace Industry. Additionally, we aim to contribute toward the solid reputation SDSU has for being a premier school for Aerospace Engineering by cementing this team as a continuous top contender in the Design Build Fly competition.

Our Values

To support and uphold a safe and friendly environment where students can work together to accomplish their goals and dreams and develop lasting relationships with other students and professionals while studying at San Diego State University.