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WVU Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Team

The West Virginia University (WVU) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Team has participated in the anual AIAA Student Design/Build/Fly (DBF) Competition sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Cessna Aircraft, and Raytheon Missile Systems . Each year, teams from all across the world design, assemble, and fly a remote controled aircraft to meet the design requirements for a given year's competition. The AIAA DBF competition requires the teams to write a technical report describing their design prior to their arrival at the event. Performance scores and report scores are decided upon by judges, and are factored into the final score. WVU also participated in its very own Mountaineer Collegiate UAV Flyoff.

Since the conception of the AIAA DBF competition in 1996, the WVU UAV team has participated and maintained a record of placing within the top third of the competition. In 2002, the WVU UAV Team attained third place with "Phastball." Other accomplishments include entering the first tail-less aircraft to successfully compete in 2004 with "Sally." Then, in 2005, WVU entered its second flying wing "Sally II." In 2007, WVU had the fastest two aircraft at the competition with the "Luna Moth," and the "Pi-Plane." In 2008, "Mountain-Air" placed 14th with the lightest aircraft the WVU UAV Team has entered into the competition to date.

About Us


    We are the West Virginia University Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Team located in Morgantown, WV. Since 1996 we have been involved with creating mission-specific aircraft for use in competition with other universities. The skills required to produce competition aircraft are refined over a period of years with active mentoring for students at every experience and academic level.

    Aspects of the design process are broken into several areas and assigned to teams. The three main teams, Structures, Aerodynamics, and Propulsion, are each responsible for a crucial element of the aircraft's performance. The committment to advanced technical capabilites and professional communication between teams allows the finished product to take to the skies.

    Team members posing for a picture after preparing for the test flight of "Baby-B".


    Current Newsletter - February, 2016

    WVU Competition In The News - March 30, 2016

Mountaineer UAV Fly-Off Competition


    Jump To
    List of Schools Attending
    Tentative Schedule
    Social Media

    List of Schools Attending

    • Alfred University

    • Clarkson University

    • Manhattan College

    • Miami University

    • Rochester Institute of Technology

    • Syracuse University

    • The City College of New York

    • Ohio State University

    • University of Arizona

    • University of Illinois at Chicago

    • University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

    • University of Miami

    • University of Pennsylvania

    • University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

    • West Virginia University


    Will the posters be judged during the fly-off or will the judging occur at a different time?
    • The posters will be judged at the competition. The event staff will have a separate area for the posters to be setup. Each team will be given a set number of raffle tickets with point values written on them. Each ticket will be placed in the container associated with their favorite posters. To prevent biased scoring from the teams, each ticket will have a corresponding ticket associated with it so the judges can tell if the team has voted for their own poster.

    Our faculty advisor will not be able to attend, will this be a problem?
    • No, your faculty advisor does not need to attend the competition.

    Are we allowed to list a back-up pilot and if so how do we register them?
    • Yes, just email the pilots name and AMA number to wvudbf@gmail.com

    Since travel costs might limit travel, is it acceptable to not have all attendants listed below travel to the competition?
    • The entire team roster does not need to attend the competition.

    Will there be any companies recruiting at the event?
    • WVU is working on getting companies to attend, to act as judges and observe the competition. As of now there are no companies attending.

    What is the policy on adding new members after this point?
    • If your team needs to make additional changes to the roster please email wvudbf@gmail.com and a link will be provided to edit your previous submission.

    Must they be AIAA members as per the international contest guidelines?
    • Since this competition is not associated with AIAA in any way, there is no need to have your team register with AIAA, even though it is still recommended.

    NiCAD or LiPo batteries?
    • Only NiMh and NiCad batteries are permitted. All flight competition rules still directly follow AIAA Design/Build/Fly rules. With the exception of the requirement to complete all missions before attempting the bonus mission.

    Do we need to submit a final report?
    • Even though it is still recommended that your team generates a final report to maintain continuity in the class, there is no need to submit a final report for the competition. In lieu of the final report, a poster will be generated and a separate competition will be held for “Best Poster”.

    Is housing provided for the event?
    • No, but WVU does provide discount pricing for hotel rooms at certain hotels. Travel information and hotel pricing has already been distributed to the participating teams.

    Tentative Schedule

    Tentative Schedule

    Social Media

    Competition Facebook Page


    WVU Jackson's Mill

    Louis Bennett Field, Weston, WV 26452

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Position Name E-Mail Phone
Professor Dr. Peter Gall pete.gall@mail.wvu.edu  
Assistant Dr. Patrick Browning pbrownin@mix.wvu.edu  
Team Technical Leader Anthony Donzella amdonzella@mix.wvu.edu 304-639-2952
Team Project Manager Larry Goontz lgoontz@mix.wvu.edu 330-277-8073
Webmaster Thaddeus Osborne tgosborne@mix.wvu.edu  

    *If you have any comments/suggestions about the webpage please contact Thaddeus Osborne


    If you are interested in sponsoring the 2016 Mountaineer UAV Flyoff and/or the WVU UAV Design Team, please contact us at wvudbf@gmail.com