The team taking the BMFA UAV ‘Spirit of Delft’ to the take-off area.

During the academic year of 2017-2018,  Lambach Aircraft participated in the British Model Flying Association (BMFA) Payload challenge.

The annual payload challenge consists in designing, building, and flying a UAV able to carry a payload of water. The winning team would be the one able to carry the highest amount of payload weight compared to the weight of the UAV, for a given propulsion system.

Student teams came from all over the world, bringing their design and passion to a fierce competition of skill as well as nerves! Try after try, all participants had set back: some teams crashed their landing gear while trying to take off from the grass, some others broke their propellers while testing.

The Spirit of Delft in queue for take-off.

We also had our challenges: during our first trial runs, right after we had gained the attention of all other competitors, who didn’t believe we would be able to take off with such a heavy looking UAV, after about two minutes of flight, our engine quit on us!

Our motto since then has been:

we make heads turn, and engines BURN!

Engine burnt during the first flight.

Of course we got right back on track. Spirit of Delft was designed with an high aspect ratio, and as such, was able to get to the ground intact even without propeller. Thanks to the support of fellow teams, we were able to find a spare engine that would fit our engine mount, and get back to the runway to successfully complete the first round of the competition!

Spirit of Delft soaring the skies.

Do you want to know more about the BMFA UAV design? Visit the Spirit of Delft’s page.

Do you want to know more about how the BMFA UAV was built? Visit the Spirit of Delft’s manufacturing page.