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The Vertical Flight Society has announced the winners of its inaugural Design-Build-Vertical Flight (DBVF) Competition. The University of Michigan took first place with a prize of $2,000. The team from the University of Maryland took second place and the Ohio State University took third place; the teams will be awarded cash prizes of $1,000 and $500, respectively.
The remote-control electric-powered vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) DBVF competition seeks to encourage interest in unmanned aircraft technology, and small air vehicle design and fabrication. The competition is designed to develop hands-on skills and familiarization with eVTOL and advanced air mobility (AAM) technology at the university student level, helping to prepare the next generation of engineers and leaders to push the limits of this exciting technology into the future.
Although the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancelation of the fly-off portion of the competition, each team submitted a final technical report and made a virtual presentation of their design and findings to a panel of judges on April 15-16.
There were a total of seven academic teams that submitted entries in this year’s competition. The 2020-2021 request for proposal (RFP) challenged the teams to build a general aircraft, with requirements restricted to the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) Group 1, which limited the maximum take-off weight (MTOW) to no more than 20 lb (9.1 kg). The RFP and other information is available at www.vtol.org/fly.
|1st||University of Michigan||Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA||Michigan Vertical Flight Technology|
|2nd||University of Maryland||College Park, Maryland, USA||Autonomous Micro Air Vehicle|
|3rd||Ohio State University||Columbus, Ohio, USA||Buckeye Vertical|
The remaining teams received the following Honorable Mentions from the judges:
|Best Drawing Package||McGill University||Montreal, Quebec, |
|Most Creative||Oregon State University||Corvallis, Oregon, USA||Beaverhawks 3.0|
|Best Computational Simulation||Pennsylvania State University||State College, |
|Autonomous Robotics Club|
|Most Manufacturable||Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology||Flushing, New York, USA||Vaughn UAV|
A total of $5,500 was awarded by VFS during the competition. In addition to the $3,500 in final awards, $2,000 had been awarded previously. In December 2020, each of the seven teams submitted preliminary design report. The results of the judging at that time were as follows: