The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

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UAV Team


The inaugural 2019 UMass Student Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Team is made up of 6 mechanical engineering students from the University of Massachusetts Amherst who are competing in this initiative. This pioneering team is the first group of students from UMass to enter in the Raytheon Missile Systems/AIAA Design Build Fly Competition. In this competition students design, fabricate, and demonstrate the flight capabilities of an unmanned, electric powered, radio controlled aircraft that can best meet the specific mission profile. Only 113 entries to compete were accepted in Fall 2018, including ours. The team has worked diligently to meet all the competition milestones and plans to travel to Arizona in April 2019 for the national competition. The 2019 UMass UAV Team objectives are:

  • Provide real world aircraft design experience by applying analytical studies
  • Enhance reputation of UMass Amherst engineering department by competing against universities in an event sponsored by aerospace/defense companies such as Raytheon, SpaceX, NASA, Boeing, Textron, etc.
  • Inspire fellow UMass Amherst engineers to work in the aerospace/defense industries and give them necessary skills
  • Build foundation for future UMass teams including entry, reports, design, prototype/equipment, and know-how.



  • Mission profile for the 2019 contest is a multi-purpose aircraft for carrier operations. The aircraft must have folding wings that allow it to fit inside a space of 3 feet wide and 2 feet high. Aircraft must transfer from folded to flight mechanism remotely.
  • Payload requirements include no payload for first mission, reconnaissance rotating random for second mission, and combat attack stores with release mechanism for final mission.