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Airplane “Hacking” Contest at DEF CON 27

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  • Airplane “Hacking” Contest at DEF CON 27

    Airplane “Hacking” Contest

    Even though we’re not doing any real airplane hacking at the Aviation Village this year, we still felt there needed to be some sort of “hacking” competition. We have devised a safe, fun, yet challenging hacking competition. You will “hack” an airplane. Well, a cool airplane kids scooter. Your mission is to “pimp up” your airplane in whatever manner you wish to impress the judges. Adding some tech or functionality to this dumb toy would would be very cool. The possibilities are only limited to your imagination.
    You could turn it into a robot, a server, a disco light show, a tea kettle (no that would violate fire rules) or just slap some stickers and streamers on it. Anything you’d like, just make it cool.
    The Airplane

    The hacking target is a kids airplane scooter. It’s about 14” tall (wheels to the tip of the backrest), 18” wide (wingtip-to-wingtip), and about 20” long (spinner to backrest). It is supposed to be the character, “Dusty”, from the Disney movie “Planes”.
    Phillips screws are located on the bottom and hold the whole thing together. The screws are deeply set so an extra long screwdriver would be recommended. We’ll try to have one available.
    The plane has all sorts of special sound effects, buttons and spinning prop. As shown in the photo the prop has 4 LEDs on one of the propellers which light up/blink making a POV like display (oh, the possibilities)
    We would recommend using a Arduino, Raspberry Pi, or other embedded computer (laptop or tablet could work too) to create the most awesome hacks but your design is up to you.
    We have five (5) of these airplanes already in our physical possession. Teams will need to submit a proposal, although you don’t have to build what you propose. Proposals are required to decide who gets one of the five planes and to mitigate “me too” requests. The five most interesting proposal will get a plane
    If you don’t get a plane you are welcome to purchase/bring your own. They are on Amazon for about $45. Link to product:
    If you buy your own airplane you are automatically eligible for the contest but you must still submit a proposal to let us know that you have obtained your own airplane and have a creative idea. Again, you don’t actually have to build what you propose.
    Winners may be asked to bring their airplanes back in future years depending on their functionality. Consider a development path not a one-off.
    Judging will be done Sunday mid-morning, time to be announced. The panel will consist of members of the Aviation Village staff and partners. All decisions are final. Some sort of prize will be provided although mostly it will be the honor of having “hacked” an airplane at DEFCON.
    Some suggested tools, equipment, components (none of this will be provided):
    • RasPi, Arduino or other embedded computer
    • Laptop/Tablet with appropriate dev tools
    • Controls: Switches, buttons, knobs…
    • Input devices: light sensors, bump sensors, distance sensors…
    • Output devices: LED/lights, relays, motors, servos, stepper motors, sound…
    • Hookup wire
    • Bread board, dev board
    • Phillips screwdriver (long)
    • Soldering iron and solder
    • Dremel -like tool
    • Hacksaw/cutoff tool – The axle is metal and one piece. Wheels do not turn separately.
    • Duct Tape!
    • Paint
    • Stickers
    • Streamers
    • My Little Pony hood ornament
    • Fuzzy dice
    More photos and data will be provided. Gurney will be building one too but it will not be entered in the contest. He will be making a build video/blog of some sort. Check for updates
    Contest Rules and Stuff

    Selection of the 5 teams to get the free “airplanes” will be based on the creativity of their proposals to “pimp” their airplanes. Proposals are due on or before July 15, 23:59 UTC. Proposals will be judged by Aviation Village staff. All decisions are final. You will need to pick up your “airplane” on or after Thursday, August 8th (or whenever we get to the con). Location TBD. We’ll email you with details.
    You don’t have to actually build what you propose. Proposals are for selecting the 5 teams to receive “airplanes”. So, be creative!
    Teams sizes can be 1 or more people but you need to register as a “team” with a team name and member names (the team can grow after you submit your proposal)
    You can enter the contest if you bring your own, “Dusty” scooter, “airplane”. But, even if you obtain your own “airplane” you must submit a proposal to compete and be judged. Yes, to be fair to the other contestants, you need to do a little creative work. Proposals must be submitted by the due date. If you bring your own “airplane” it must be the exact same model as the one being provided to the proposal winners. You can get your own for about $45 at Amazon
    or other retailers as long as it’s the same one.
    All entries must be safe and; not piss off the goons (too much), hotel staff/security, fire marshal, or LV police. No flamethrowers, projectiles, sharp instruments, guns, grenade launchers, mini-nukes or other dangerous crap. Entries must follow the the Aviation Village Values and DEF CON Code of Conduct. Entries that do not meet these basic requirements will not be eligible for the competition.
    Tools, electronics and other equipment will not be provided other than the “airplane” itself if you win the proposal judging. Lots of resources can be found in the Hardware Hacking Village. Limited support will be provided by the Aviation Village team. Mostly limited to contest questions. You’re on your own for your build.
    If you are a selected team receiving a free airplane please be present for the judging (it will make us sad if you don’t show). Your team (or representative) and your entry must be physically present for judging and eligibility for awards. Winners may be announced at DEF CON ceremonies closing, if we’re given the opportunity. Judging will be Sunday, August 11th mid day. Exact time and location TBD. Judging will be open to the public.
    All proposals will be posted to the Aviation Village website. So, keep it clean. Expect that people will take photos and video at the judging. We’d like to post some photos/videos to our website but if your team is uncomfortable with that, let us know and we won’t.
    All decisions by contest judges are final unless there are extreme circumstances. And even then it is unlikely a change will be made.
    This is all for fun. Don’t get too serious about this. Healthy, responsible, and sports-peron-ly competition is encouraged.
    Aviation Village reserves the right to change the contest rules at any time for any reason. Yeah. That’s right. Live with it.
    Good Luck and have fun.

    Competition Form

    Proposals must be emailed to cfp [at] aviationvillage [dot] org on or before July 15, 23:59 UTC. All contestants must complete the form with their proposal.

    *=required information


    _DEFCON Aviation Village Airplane “Hacking” Competition Form_

    Name of Team*:

    Team Members (name/handle, preferred pronouns)*:

    Are you purchasing/bringing your own airplane?*:


    If you arenotselected, do you plan to purchase/bring your own airplane anyway?*:



    [Provide a proposal for your airplane “hack”/"pimp". You don’t actually have to do what you propose. We are looking for creative ideas so that we can select five teams to receive the free airplanes.]


    If you provide your own airplane, you still must complete this form and submit before the deadline. The airplane must be the exact same model as the one provided. ( Amazon product link: ). If nottheexactsame model, you are not eligible for the competition. If you provide your own airplane you are automatically entered in the contest.

    All entries must be safe. They must not piss off the goons (too much), hotel staff, fire marshal or LV police. No flamethrowers, projectiles, sharp instruments, guns, grenade launchers, mini-nukes or other dangerous stuff. Entries must follow the the Aviation Village Values and DEFCON Code of Conduct. Entries that do not meet these basic requirements will not be eligible for the competition. You must be physically present (a team representative and your entry) at the judging to be eligible to win. All judge's decisions are final. Rules are subject to change at the discretion of the Aviation Village staff.

    I have read and agree to the contest terms*:

    [Team lead name/handle]

    Attached Files
    PGP Key: