About Us

Design Build Fly

The Lehigh Aerospace Club is a student-run aerospace engineering group. The club competes annually in the AIAA's Design/Build/Fly competition, hosts guest lectures by field professionals, and organizes field trips to local aerospace hubs such as NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Boeing Rotorcraft Systems' Philadelphia plant. The club consists of approximately 20 members who meet twice a week to design, manufacture, and test aircraft.


The first phase of creating an aircraft starts with conceptual design. Each year the DBF competition presents us with different challenges, and we create our designs to optimize performance and successfully complete the missions. From conceptual to detailed design, we utilize tools such as SolidWorks to create prototype CAD models and Matlab to simulate scoring optimization. During this phase, our members get to learn or enhance valuable design skills necessary in the engineering field.


Once we complete the preliminary design phase, we begin manufacturing our prototypes. To create our aircrafts, we use multiple fabrication tools such as the CNC water jet, CNC hot wire cutter, CNC laser cutter, and more. The manufacturing process gives our members the unique opportunity to learn how to use these different tools in a very hands-on approach!


Finally, once we complete the construction of our aircrafts, we test fly them. Our team uses this phase to optimize our aircrafts by collecting data using a data acquisition system, which allows us to go back and enhance our designs for better results. Also, the club’s most memorable moments are our flight days, where we usually have lots of fun with flying (and crashing) our aircrafts! Check out our YouTube channel below to see some footage from previous test flights.

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