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Vertical Flight Society Completes Drone Design Competition for Students

Texas A&M Takes Home the Gold Despite the Inclement Weather

The Vertical Flight Society Selected the Winners of this year's Design-Build-Vertical Flight Student Competition, sending the team from Texas A&M home with the gold.

The competition assesses student's ability to draft, develop, and construct a VTOL drone from the ground up, and this year's wet and windy conditions added an additional level of difficulty on top of the normal trials and travails of the DBVF. Facing winds of 20 miles an hour, gusting up to 40, competing teams had to get knocked down and repair everything in time for another test run.

The Texas students got a nice little bag of gold for their trouble, a prize of $2,750 secured with their biplane tailsitting aircraft. The team from the University of Maryland came in 2nd, earning them $1,125. In 3rd, the Georgia Institute of Technology got a modest $650 for their trouble. Some additional feats were recognized, too. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's entrants got $500 for providing the 'Best Technical Report', and the competition's hosts, SURVICE Engineering, presented a 'Best Crash' award on top of that. The University of Maryland snatched that award with a nosedive from 100 feet up. Lastly, North Carolina A&T got the 'Best New Entrant' award for their efforts in tackling some difficult weather conditions.

“We would like to thank the many volunteers that help throughout the year to pull off the event, as well as the several reviewers, judges, and SURVICE staff that provide teams feedback on their deliverables and the opportunity to fly their aircraft competitively at the culminating event,” said Dr. Jason K. Cornelius of NASA Ames Research Center, who volunteers as the VFS DBVF Program Director. “Overall, the 4th Annual VFS DBVF competition was a monumental success, with teams working together to help each other overcome setbacks and push their aircraft to the limits. VFS looks forward to the 5th Annual DBVF competition, and for new university teams and supporters from around the world to join in on the fun.”



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