AIAA Design, Build Fly

Current project

Project Snapshot

By joining the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics UNSW Design Build Fly team, each student will learn how to design, build and fly a complex RC aircraft as part of a multi-disciplinary team competing against the best universities from around the world.


About ChallENG Student Project

The AIAA UNSW Design Build Fly team was formed in late 2018 to compete in the annual AIAA Design Build Fly Competition in the United States. The specifications for the aircraft vary yearly, hence requiring fresh designs. This year’s requirements involve developing a multi-purpose aircraft to support carrier operations. Their mission is to provide students with hands-on experience and an avenue through which coursework is applied towards an aerospace engineering project.  

The project time frame usually runs from Term 3 up until midway through Term 1, making this project fast-paced and perfect for anyone ready to get their hands dirty in practical design or manufacturing. 

Who we are looking for

  • The AIAA DBF Student Project team is looking for students who are passionate about the Aerospace industry and looking to enhance their degree by applying the knowledge they have gathered to solve real world engineering problems
  • They welcome members from all faculties and disciplines as their projects require expertise in electrical, mechanical, aerospace and software engineering
  • There are currently two open positions in the project for 2020/21:
    • Project Manager: This role involves coordinating the AIAA DBF project, recruiting team members, keeping the project on track, liaising with faculty, raising funds from sponsors and maintaining a team culture. Suitable for a person with good time management and excellent planning and communication skills.
    • Technical Lead: This role involves overseeing the design, manufacturing and testing of the aircraft. Suitable for a third-year aeronautical engineering student.

Submit your Expression of Interest for the open positions below:

Expression of Interest.

Why you should join

  • Apply theoretical coursework in a highly practical and focused project  
  • Learn how to operate and work within a multidisciplinary team  
  • AIAA provides fantastic opportunities to students who are passionate about the Aerospace industry  
  • The team offers the chance to expand your network both within the Aerospace industry and with your Aerospace peers across multiple universities

Team Academic Advisor




"Being a part of the UNSW Design Build Fly team has been the most valuable aspect of my degree. It’s the opportunity to gain practical design experience and be part of growing team that’s eager to learn."

Alex Hirsch, AIAA Design Build Fly Project Manager
5th Year Aerospace Engineering & Computer Science