Labor Day weekend speed build


Thanks to all who attended our Labor Day weekend speed build! Here’s a recap of what happened.

Friday, 9/2

DBF Illinois members met for the first time and attended a design seminar in the aero lab on the 3rd floor of Talbot to get a better understanding of what goes into designing and building a RC aircraft.

Elias, Meng, Dhipak, and Jeremy led design subgroups focusing on different aspects of the plane: aerodynamics, stability+controls, structures, and propulsion.

The mission: design and build an aircraft that could take off with a payload of a single tennis ball.


Meng giving a talk about structures

Saturday, 9/3

On Saturday,  we organized and cleaned our workspace and storage areas in preparation for the build session as well as the upcoming season. In the process we also recycled old aircraft parts to recoup some building materials.


Our newly organized storage area in Talbot 18C

Sunday, 9/4

Most components of our speed build plane were built and integrated Sunday afternoon. The team made simultaneous progress on multiple parts of the aircraft, from the motor mount and fuselage to the tail surfaces. Talbot 18A, 18B, and 18C were bustling with DBF Illinois members. New members learned all about construction techniques, tooling, and materials, while veterans imparted their knowledge. Everyone was deeply involved.

Monday, 9/5

Labor Day. 90 degrees F. Partly cloudy skies. Light breeze.

DBF Illinois made some finishing touches on the speed-build prototype. After performing some final pre-flight checks, we made our first flight of the 2016-2017 season on the concrete sidewalk right outside of Talbot. The flight was short and sweet.

After charging up our batteries, we headed out to the South Quad, across the street from the Undergraduate Library (UGL). Originally, our flying location was the Stock Pavillion, but we decided given the high temperatures that it would be nicer to just fly outside.






Overall, the Labor Day speed build event helped kickstart DBF Illinois’ 2016-2017 season. With two in-house competitions in the upcoming months, as well as the official AIAA competition in the spring, this weekend provided a smattering of technical and interpersonal skills for new members and veterans, which will be critical for us later on. As a team, we have also gained confidence in our ability to successfully design, build and fly a RC airplane.

We look forward to the upcoming season and can’t wait for the exciting experiences to come.


written by Ben Li

Fall 2016 First General Meeting

Come join us on Monday 8/29 at for our first general meeting!

  • Time: Monday 8/29, 5pm
  • Location: DCL 1310

Our president Elias Waddington and faculty advisor Professor Ansell will be presenting our strategy for this year, in addition to introducing all the new members to the club.