About Us

We are a team of undergraduate and graduate students at MIT that develop aircraft for the annual AIAA Design/Build/Fly competition. Our students gain experience in conceptual design, multidisciplinary optimization, aerodynamic, structural and propulsive analysis, composite layups, CAD software, UAV fabrication and RC flight. DBF provides a means for our members to develop their technical, collaborative and communication skills while exploring their interest in aeronautics. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at For MIT students who are interested in joining us and would like to be on our mailing list for further information on new member trainings and meetings, please fill out this form

2021-2022 Competition

AIAA Design Build Fly.


The objective for this year's competition is to design, build, and test an aircraft that can carry a payload weighing over 30% of its body weight, while also being able to fit into a suitcase in its disassembled form.


We spend September training new members and beginning the design process. We build, prototype, and flight test from October through March, and compete with our final plane in April.


The rules for this year's competition can be found here.

Executive Board

Our team is composed of undergraduate and gradute MIT students.

Ariel Mobius

President | Class of 2024
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hobbies: Reading, hiking, rowing, stargazing
Favorite aircraft: Wight quadruplane

Reagan Ferguson

Chief Engineer | Class of 2023
Major: Aerospace Engineering
Research Interest: Conceptual Aircraft Design, Computational Mathematics
Hobbies: RC aircraft, music, digital art
Favorite Aircraft: Stratolaunch

Ada Erus

Vice President and Treasurer | Class of 2025
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Erick Gonzalez

Project Manager | Class of 2024
Major: Aerospace Engineering
Hobbies: baking, going on walks, playing badminton
Favorite aircraft: Airbus A380

Brian Minnick

Mechanisms Lead | Class of 2025
Major: Aerospace Engineering
Research interests: Nanoelectronics
Hobbies: 3D printing, building planes, history
Favorite aircraft: Corsair

Alazar Lemma

Co-Aero Lead | Class of 2024
Major: Aerospace Engineering
Hobbies: Playing soccer
Favorite Aircraft: Wright flyer

Christopher Vargas

Co-Aero Lead | Class of 2023
Major: Aerospace Engineering
Hobbies: Playing volleyball, reading, D&D podcasts
Favorite Aircraft: ASW-27

Deniz Erus

Propulsion Lead | Class of 2025
Major: Computer Science

Olivia Tobin

Social Chair | Class of 2023
Major: Aerospace Engineering

Peter Sharpe

Graduate Student
Major: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Research: Aircraft Design, Optimization, Aerodynamics
Hobbies: Making music, sailing, skateboarding
Favorite Aircraft: T-38 Talon

Past Models and Results

Previous MIT competition entries. We have 6 top 10 finishes in the past 9 years. Click on an aircraft to learn about its design.

Aquarium Falcon

Year: 2011-12        Placed 12 out of 68 teams

Lil' Nugget

Year: 2012-13        Placed 4 out of 81 teams


Year: 2013-14        Placed 5 out of 80 teams

Miss Piggy

Year: 2014-15        Placed 9 out of 84 teams

Tony & Mark IV

Year: 2015-16        Placed 20 out of 80 teams


Year: 2016-17       Placed 4 out of 95 teams


Year: 2017-18        Placed 52 out of 91 teams


Year: 2018-19        Placed 7 out of 104 teams


Year: 2019-20        Placed 6 out of 104 teams


Year: 2020-21        Placed 67 out of 92 teams


Year: 2021-22        Design doc placed 2nd of 97 teams

Sponsorships and Donations

Interested in donating to MIT DBF? Click here.

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