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Welcome to the Center for Student Involvement page of DBF!

DBF is an internationally recognized and acclaimed competition hosted by the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) each year. Our team at CU Boulder consistently competes at the highest level, and we are always looking for new members to join our team!

We are the only club in CU to offer hands on project experience dealing with RC planes, making it a great introduction to what an engineering career is like. Companies look for students with project experience, making DBF a great fit for any students looking for a job/internship. So, if you are interested in engineering, designing, manufacturing, or anything STEM related, then we invite you to join!

If you have any questions, just email us at After you do so, we can get you enrolled in our Slack channel, which is the program we use for our inter-team communications. That way you'll be up to date with all the info about the club!

Our first meeting of the Spring 2020 semester is Monday, January 27th, 2020 in ECCR 245 at 5:30pm. We hope to see you there!


Q: Do I have to be in engineering to join?
A: No! All you have to do is be interested in planes. No manufacturing experience is required either, as we teach all of that throughout the year. Just like a company, we need more than just engineers to function efficiently and have positions related to obtaining and organizing sponsorships, social media maintenance, and more!

Q: I was not a member last semester. Can I still join?
A: Absolutely! We welcome new members throughout the year. Email us to get involved!

Q: Is there a registration/member fee?
A: Nope! Its free to be a part of our club, but some things like t-shirts and competition could have fees associated with it.

Portal Information


Design Build Fly (DBF) at the University of Colorado is an undergraduate aircraft design club. Design Build Fly is an annual competition organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). The competition is sponsored by Cessna and Raytheon (alternates each year). Throughout the year club members design, build, and fly a radio-controlled, battery powered aircraft that is optimized to complete particular missions outlined by the competition rules.


Academic: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM)

Student Organization Principal Activities, Events, or Programs

Please describe any annual events you plan, conference you attend, regularly scheduled meetings (location, time, etc.). This information appears publically on the directory so the more you provide, the easier it is for students to get involved.

Design Build Fly is organized by semesters. The first semester (fall) consists of the designing phase of the aircraft. The team develops a variety of designs, but ultimately choose one design to build after a critical design review. During the first semester, general members have a project to design a glider with a unique mission. This project serves as a learning period for new members to learn different machining techniques as well as familiarize them with aircraft design. The second semester (spring) consists of the building of the competition plane. During this time the plane is built, test flown, and optimized to perform all of the missions at competition. The DBF competition is in late April and takes place in either Tucson, AZ or Wichita, KS (alternates every year).

How will this organization's activities benefit the CU Boulder community?

Design Build Fly gives students of all fields a comprehensive, hands-on experience with the design, production, and flight of a RC plane. DBF is the only club in CU that offers students a chance to work directly on a plane. In addition, companies like to hire students with project experience, making DBF a great choice for students applying for jobs or internships. This makes for an interactive opportunity that allows students to experience what a career in aerospace and other engineering fields could be like.

Email Address

Please list the email for the organization.