Bristol University Students Design and Build Drones in a Two-Day Challenge

Students from the University of Bristol built and flew drones in a two day challenge called “Drone Dash 1”, sponsored by the Airbus Global University Partnership Programme this week.

Two university societies – the Drone Society and AeroSoc – worked with Airbus experts to set the challenge of building drones from a bag of parts and then completing flying challenges that included controlled take-off, landing and flying manoeuvres, and the delicate job of pressing small switches.

The students from the five teams that competed are studying mechanical, aeronautical, and electronic engineering, as well as engineering maths and computer sciences. The members of the winning team completed all the challenges set and are all studying degrees of different disciplines.

The purpose of the event was to further develop the relationship between Airbus and the students at the university by working directly with the university societies, and stimulate a ‘can-do’, innovative attitude to the challenge of flight.

Prof Ian Lane, Airbus senior composites expert said; “It was amazing to see these students design and build drones with no real step-by-step instructions. They had to work it out themselves, each person bringing their skills to the table. There we a few times when things were really difficult and none of the teams gave up. It was like the spirit of early aviation innovation was alive in the room.”

Dr Steve Bullock, Teaching Fellow from the University’s Department of Aerospace Engineering, said: “It was a brilliant event and the students who competed stepped up to the challenge.  Airbus is a close partner of the University and we would like to thank them for sponsoring the event.”


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