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Vertical Flight Society selects competitors for annual student eVTOL drone competition

November 22, 2023  By Helicopters Staff

The Vertical Flight Society (VFS) has announced the selection of teams from 16 universities to compete in the fourth annual Design-Build-Vertical Flight (DBVF) Student Competition. The 16 academic teams involved in the competition represent universities located in 12 U.S. states, plus Canada, India, and Malaysia.

The selection marks the largest number of academic teams to participate in the DBVF Competition since VFS launched the event in 2021.

The electric-powered vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) DBVF competition seeks to encourage interest in uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) 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.


VFS will award a total of US$5,000 to the highest-scoring teams next spring, following a flyoff to be held on April 10 to 12, 2024.

The 16 selected teams are:

  • Auburn University
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Cooper Union for Advancement of Science & Art
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Kumaraguru College of Technology, India
  • McGill University
  • North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Michigan
  • University Putra Malaysia
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology

The final selected teams will compete head-to-head in a flyoff at Harford Airport in Churchville, Maryland, from April 10 to 12, 2024. SURVICE Engineering is hosting the DBVF flyoff via its applied technology operation (ATO) facility for the second year in a row.


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