Project Orange Hornet has secured a spot in the Top 10 for the first time in USYD DBF history!

project orange hornet

Orange Hornet is a remote-controlled UAV designed for Urban Air Mobility, capable of efficient transportation of medical supplies and passengers. Featuring a 1.5 m wingspan and a rapid wing swivel mechanism, the aircraft can seamlessly fit within a 2.5 ft (0.76 m) parking space and can be assembled with full payload in under 5 minutes. Marking the team’s second ever attendance of the DBF Fly-offs, the aircraft flew competitively in Wichita, Kansas, and completed all missions successfully without any failures.

This outstanding achievement reflects the dedication and hard work of every member of the USYD DBF Engineering and Operations teams, who have devoted themselves tirelessly to this project over the past year. We are also immensely grateful to the staff members at the University of Sydney, particularly our Team Faculty Advisor, Professor KC Wong, for his commitment to providing resources, guidance, and workshop space, and Jeremy Randle, who was ever ready to offer his mentorship to the team throughout the process. A special thanks to all the other university staff members who contributed expertise at our critical design reviews – Dries VerstraeteNicholas Lawson FRAeSZihao WangYuchen Huang, and Nishanth Menakath.

An aircraft’s success hinges on its pilot – we would like to extend our thanks to Steve Dalton -Keep for flying our aircraft during flight-testing this season, enabling us to test performance capabilities and push limits. And to our Competition Pilot, Jimmy Prouty, who spearheaded the team’s competition run at the Fly-off with his exceptional flying of Orange Hornet in the extremely windy conditions of Wichita.

We express our deepest gratitude to our sponsors for their generous support, with special appreciation to our Sapphire sponsors: the School of AMME and the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Sydney, and Innovaero. Thank you to LEAP Australia, Balsa Central, Engineers Australia, and OpenDoor Coaching, for contributing to next-generation engineering.

At Sydney UAV Engineering, we are committed to pushing the boundaries of UAV design and fostering the growth of our members as engineers and leaders. We are proud to have achieved this well and truly this season, where we designed an aircraft that stands proudly amongst veterans of the competition. The team will continue to strive for excellence in the seasons to come.

Thank you for joining us on this journey so far – here’s to the next season, and beyond!

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