Duct tape usually comes into play when something isn’t working as intended. But for Arizona State University engineering students competing in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Design/Build/Fly competition, it signifies the team’s well-designed aircraft that flew on the first try.

Duct Tape Overcast — an aircraft that is “built like a steakhouse but handles like a bistro,” according to Air Devils student organization president Daniel Kosednar — flew the team to a career-high 14th place finish during a bumpy 2020-2021 competition year.

AIAA DBF, sponsored by Raytheon Missiles and Defense, challenges undergraduate and graduate students from universities around the world to apply their skills in a real-world aircraft design experience. The Air Devils team from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at ASU was one of 115 teams invited to create a small, unmanned, radio-controlled electric aircraft for the competition.

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