Annual VFS Design-Build-Vertical Flight Competition

Annual DBVF Competition

2023 Request for Proposal now available!

This electric-powered remote-control vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) 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 and prepare the next generation of engineers and leaders to push the limits of this exciting technology into the future.

SURVICE Applied Technology Operation (ATO) — the 2022 Gold sponsor — will be the host of the DBVF competition flyoff in 2023 scheduled for June 6-8.

A total of $5,000 in cash awards will be given in two rounds and include the following:

  • Preliminary Design Report: Awards TBD
  • Overall Competition: 1st – $2000; 2nd – $1000; 3rd – $500

Team eligibility rules include:

  • Team members must be full-time students and can be at undergraduate and graduate levels and at least one Faculty Advisor must be named.
  • Each team member must be a current VFS Student Member ($25/year) at the time of submitting your Preliminary Design Report (PDR).
  • Each team’s pilot must also hold an FAA Part 107 Drone Certification or equivalent certifying authority (non-US based teams).

2022 DBVF Results

2022 DBVF: Ohio State Univ. TeamThe winners of the 2022 DBVF Student Competition were:

Check out the press release and photo album of the final flyoff and awards ceremony.

Download the 2022 RFP Request for Proposal.

Congratulations to the other competing teams from this year:

  • McGill University
  • University of Michigan
  • Vaughn College of Aeronautics & Technology

2021 DBVF Results

2021 DBVF: U. Michigan team (small jpg)The winners of the inaugural (2021) DBVF Student Competition were:

Honorable mentions:

  • McGill University
  • Oregon State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology

Download the 2021 Request for Proposal.

Check out our photo gallery of the winners and read the press release to learn more. Congrats to all the teams for perservance through all the challenges of design and development during the COVID-19 pandemic!



Sponsorship Opportunities:

  • Gold Level: $5,000
  • Silver Level: $2,500
  • Bronze Level: $1,500

Please download the sponsorship flyer for more details.

2023 Timeline for Deliverables:

Submission Letter:
August to Sept 26, 2022

Preliminary Design Report:
Dec. 19, 2022

Final Technical Report: May 8, 2023

Competition Fly-off Dates:
June 6-8, 2023

Questions: Email

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):  An FAQ document will be posted to the competition site on a semi-monthly basis.

Questions should be submitted by the 15th of every month

  - Updated FAQ document will be posted the 30th of every month

2023 Venue:

3538 Aldino Road
Hangar #6
Churchville, MD 21028