RC-soaring in Denmark
RC-soaring in Denmark

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F3J Rules (FAI Sporting Code) 

The F3J Rules that are displayed on this page, can originally be found at the FAI website.

This page only shows the F3J-related part (paragraph 5.6) of the document "SPORTING CODE SECTION IV".

SPORTING CODE SECTION IV
2004 Edition Effective January 1, 2004
VOLUME F3BJ – R.C. SOARING, R.C. GLIDERS

FEDERATION AERONAUTIQUE INTERNATIONALE
Avenue Mon Repos 24, 1005 LAUSANNE, Switzerland
Copyright 2004
All rights reserved. Copyright in this document is owned by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI). Any person acting on behalf of the FAI or one of its Members is hereby authorised to copy, print, and distribute this document, subject to the following conditions:
1. The document may be used for information only and may not be exploited for commercial purposes.
2. Any copy of this document or portion thereof must include this copyright notice.

5.6. CLASS F3J - THERMAL DURATION GLIDERS

Object: To provide a man-on-man contest for competitors flying radio-controlled thermal duration soaring gliders. In the contest, several qualifying rounds are flown. For each qualifying round, competitors are divided into groups. The scores in each group are normalised to give them meaningful scores irrespective of changing weather conditions during a round. The competitors with the top aggregate scores in the qualifying rounds then fly at least two but not more than four further fly-off rounds as a single group to determine the final placing. The scheduled number of fly-off rounds shall be announced by the Contest Director before the start of the contest.

5.6.1. General Rules

5.6.1.1. Definition of a Radio Controlled Glider

An model aircraft which is not provided with a propulsion device and in which lift is generated by aerodynamic forces acting on surfaces remaining fixed. Model aircraft with variable geometry or area must comply with the specification when the surfaces are in maximum and minimum extended mode. The model aircraft must be controlled by the pilot on the ground using radio control. Any variation of geometry or area must be actuated at distance by radio.

5.6.1.2. Prefabrication of the Model aircraft

Para B.3.1. of Section 4, Part 2 (builder of the model aircraft) is not applicable to this class.

5.6.1.3. Characteristics of Radio Controlled Gliders

a)
Maximum Surface Area: 150 dm²
Maximum Flying Mass: 5 kg
Loading: 12 to 75 g/dm²
Minimum radius of fuselage nose: 7,5 mm.

b)
The radio shall be able to operate simultaneously with other equipment at 20 kHz spacing. When the radio does not meet this requirement, the working bandwidth (max. 50 kHz) shall be specified by the competitor.

c)
Any device for the transmission of information from the model aircraft to the pilot is prohibited. Any use of telecommunication devices (including transceivers and telephones) in the field by competitors, helpers or team managers is not allowed.

d)
The competitor may use three model aircraft in the contest.

e)
The competitor may combine the parts of the model aircraft during the contest, provided the resulting model aircraft conforms to the rules and the parts have been checked before the start of the contest.

f)
For the sake of randomness of the starting order among the successive rounds, each competitor must enter two different transmitter frequencies with 20 kHz minimum spacing. The competitor can be called to use either of these frequencies during the contest, so long as the call is made at least 1/2 hour prior to the beginning of a round in written form to the pilot (or team manager when applicable).

g)
All ballast must be carried internally and fastened securely within the airframe.

h)
No fixed or retractable arresting device (i.e. bolt, saw tooth-like protuberance, etc) is allowed to slow down the model aircraft on the ground during landing. The underside of the model aircraft must not have any protuberances other than the tow hook and surface control linkages (with or without fairings). The tow hook must not be larger than 5 mm in frontal width and 15 mm frontal height.

5.6.1.4. Competitors and Helpers

a)
The competitor (pilot) must operate his radio equipment himself.

b)
Each competitor is allowed three helpers. When a team manager is required, he is also permitted to help thecompetitor. A maximum of two helpers are permitted for towing during the launch as described in 5.6.8.2.

5.6.2. The Flying Site

5.6.2.1. The competition must be held on a site having reasonably level terrain, which will minimise the possibility of slope and wave soaring.

5.6.2.2.

a)
The flying site shall include a marked launch corridor of 6 m width with a central launchline. The launching corridor shall be arranged crosswind and shall include launchmarks on the central launchline at least 15 m apart, one for each competitor of a group.

b)
The flying site shall include landing spots, one for each competitor in a group. Each landing spot will correspond to one of the launching marks and will be arranged at least 30 m downwind of the launching corridor.

5.6.2.3. The centres of the landing circles and the launch line must always be marked. At the discretion of the Contest Director, marks indicating the circumference of the circles may be omitted and replaced by the use of other means of measuring, such as a tape, to check distances from the centre of the circles.

5.6.2.4. Safety Rules

a)
No part of the model aircraft must land or come to rest within the safety area.

b)
The model aircraft must not be flown at low level (below 3 meters)
over the safety area.

c)
Every single action against the safety rules will be penalised by deduction of 100 points from the competitor’s final score. Penalties shall be listed on the score sheet of the round in which the infringement(s) occurred.

5.6.3. Contest Flights

5.6.3.1.

a)
The competitor will be allowed a minimum of five (5), preferably more, official flights.

b)
The competitor will be allowed two attempts at each official flight.

c)
There is an official attempt when the model aircraft has left the hands of the competitor or those of a helper under the pull of the towline.

d)
In the case of a second attempt the result of that flight will be the official score.

e)
All attempts are to be timed by two stopwatches. If no official time has been recorded, the competitor is entitled to a new working time according to the priorities mentioned in paragraph 5.6.4.

5.6.4. Reflights

The competitor is entitled to a new working time if:

a)
his model in flight or in the process of being launched collides with another model in flight, or with a model in the process of being launched.

b)
his model in flight or in the process of being launched collides with another competitor’s towline.

c)
the competitor’s towline is hit by another model in flight or in the process of beeing launched.

d)
the attempt has not been judged by the official time-keepers.

e)
his attempt was hindered or aborted by an unexpected event, not within his control. Crossed lines is not considered as reason for reflight.

To claim a reflight considering the above mentioned conditions, the competitor has to make sure that the official timekeepers have noticed the hindering conditions and land his model as soon as possible after this event.

Note that in the case the competitor continues to launch or continues to fly after hindering conditions affected his flight or does relaunch after clearing of the hindering condition(s), he is deemed to have waived his right to a new working time.

The new working time is to be granted to the competitor according to the following order of priorities:

1. in an incomplete group, or in a complete group on additional launching/landing spots;

2. if this is not achievable, then in a new group of several (minimum 4) reflyers. New group of reflyers can be completed bz other competitors selected by random draw to the number of 4. If the frequency or team membership of the drawn competitor does not fit or the competitor will not fly, the draw is repeated ;

3. if this is also not achievable, then with his original group at the and of the ongoing round.

In priority-case 3, the better of the two results of the original flight and the reflight will be the official score, except for the pilots who are allocated the new attempt. For those the result of the reflight is the official score. A competitor of this group who was not allocated the new attempt will not be entitled to another working time in case of hindering.

5.6.5. Cancellation of a flight and/or disqualification

5.6.5.1.

a)
The flight is cancelled and recorded as a zero score if the competitor used a model aircraft not conforming to any item of rule 5.6.1. In the case of intentional or flagrant violation of the rules, in the judgement of the Contest Director, the competitor may be disqualified.

b)
The flight in progress is annulled and recorded as a zero score if the model aircraft loses any part during the launch or the flight, except when this occurs as the result of a mid-air collision with another model aircraft or towline.

c)
The loss of any part of the model aircraft during the landing (coming into contact with the ground) is not taken into account.

d)
The flight is cancelled and recorded as a zero score if the model aircraft is piloted by anyone other than the competitor.

e)
The flight is cancelled and recorded as a zero score if, during landing, some part of the model aircraft does not come to rest within 75 metres of the centre of the competitor's designated landing circle.

5.6.6. Organisation of the Flying

5.6.6.1. Rounds and Groups

a)
The flying order for the initial qualifying rounds shall be arranged in accordance with the transmitter frequencies in use to permit as many simultaneous flights as possible. A minimum of 6 and preferably 8 to 10 competitors should be scheduled for each group.

b)
The flying order shall be scheduled in rounds sub-divided into groups.

c)
The flying order shall be determined by a matrix system that minimises situations where competitors fly together more than once (see paragraph 5.6.12.5 at the end of these rules regarding suggested matrix sets).

5.6.6.2. Flying in Groups

a)
Competitors are entitled to five minutes preparation time, which is counted from the moment his/her group is called to take position at the designated launching area, to the start of the group's working time.

b)
The working time allowed to each competitor in a group shall be of exactly ten (10) minutes duration.

c)
The organisers must positively indicate the start of a group's working time, by audible signal; see 5.6.12.1 for details.

d)
Audible and visual signals must be given when eight (8) minutes of the group's working time has elapsed.

e)
The end of the group's working time must be positively indicated by audible signal, as for the start.

f)
Any model aircraft airborne at the completion of the working time must land immediately.

5.6.7. Control of Transmitters

5.6.7.1.

a)
The Contest Director will not start the contest until all competitors have handed over all transmitters to the organisers.

b)
Failure to hand in a transmitter before the official starting time of the contest may result in the competitor forfeiting his/her first round flight.

c)
Any test transmission during the contest without permission of the Contest Director is forbidden and will result in disqualification.

d)
The competitor must hand over his transmitter to the designated official (usually the timekeeper) immediately after finishing his/her flight.

5.6.8. Launching

5.6.8.1. At all times, the models must be launched upwind in the marked launching corridor (5.6.2.2). An attempt is annulled and recorded as zero if the model aircraft is launched outside the launching corridor.

5.6.8.2. The launch of the model aircraft will be by hand held towline only. It is prohibited to attach the line to the ground or to any fixed object (Whilst hand towing).

5.6.8.3.

a)
Tow persons are allowed no mechanical aids, other than pulleys, to facilitate towing but may use a hand reel (hand winch) to recover the towline after launching is complete.

b)
Immediately after release of the model aircraft from the launching cable, without delay the towline helpers must either recover the towline on a hand reel (hand winch) or, when a pulley is used, they must continue to pull the towline until it is completely removed from the towing area in order to avoid crosscutting with other lines which are still in a state of towing or will be used for towing.

c)
If towing with a pulley, behind the pulley an unbreakable shield with diameter of minimum 15cm must be fixed to protect the towing helpers against broken whipping line ends.

In the case of towing with pulley, both helpers have to operate at the pulley and one of the following preventive measures must be taken:

· The pulley and protective shield must be connected to a 5mm minimum diameter cord arranged in a V, the arms of which must have a length of 1,5 to 3,0m and with hand loops on each end;

or

· The pulley and protective shield must be connected to the centre of a sufficiently strong yoke of minimum 80cm length with handholds at each end.

In the case of towing with pulley, the towline end must be attached to a ground anchor, which is fixed by metal ropes to two additional safety pins. The length of the main stake must be at least 50 cm from the towline linkage. The safety stakes must be at least 30 cm long. The main stake must be driven into the ground to a depth at least 40 cm. The towline linkage must not exceed 10 cm above the ground. The ground anchor-measurements and its setup could look like as shown in the drawing "Guideline for proven ground anchor setup".

5.6.8.4.

The Contest Director will designate a launching area. Tow-persons must remain within this area whenever they are launching a model aircraft.

5.6.8.5. The launching device (hand-reel, pulley, anchor, if used, and all other equipment used during launch, except the launching cable with or without any attachment of maximum 5 cm3 or 5 grams) must neither come loose nor be released by the competitor or his helpers during the launch. The competitor will be penalised by the cancellation of his flight and no other attempt is permitted.

5.6.8.6. Any model aircraft launched prior to the start of a group's working time must be landed as soon as possible and relaunched within the working time. Failure to comply will result in cancellation of the competitor's score for that round.

5.6.8.7. Towlines

a)
Tow-lines for each competitor must be laid out only during the competitor's five-minute preparation time and must be retrieved by the end of his/her working time.

b)
The length of the towline shall not exceed 150 metres when tested under a tension of 20 N.

c)
The towline must be made of polyamide monofilament material throughout its length. It must have pennant with an area of 5 dm2. A parachute (of five (5) dm² minimum area) may be substituted for the pennant provided it is not attached to the model aircraft and remains inactive until the release of the towline. Linkages (couplings, knots, loops, etc.) of different material are permitted up to a total length of 1,5 m. They shall be included in the total length of 150 m.

5.6.9. Landing

5.6.9.1. Before the contest commences, organisers must allocate a landing circle to each competitor. It is the competitor's responsibility to ensure that he/she always uses the correct circle for landing.

5.6.9.2. Officials (timekeepers) must remain upwind of the launch line during the landing process. The pilot and one helper are allowed inside the 15 m radius circle.

5.6.9.3. After landing, competitors may retrieve their model aircraft before the end of their working time providing they do not impede other competitors or model aircraft in their group.

5.6.10. Scoring

5.6.10.1. The attempt will be timed from moment of release from the launching device to either:

a) the model aircraft first touches the ground;

or

b) the model aircraft first touches any object in contact with the ground. Parts of launching devices (tow-lines) extending away from the ground shall not be interpreted as objects in contact with the ground;

or

c) completion of the group's working time.

5.6.10.2. The flight time in seconds shall be recorded to one decimal place.

5.6.10.3. A penalty of thirty (30) points will be deducted from the flight score for overflying the end of the group's working time for up to a maximum of one (1) minute.

5.6.10.4. A zero score will be recorded for overflying the end of the group's working time by more than one (1) minute.

5.6.10.5. A landing bonus will be awarded in accordance with distance from the landing spot marked by the organisers according to the following tabulation:

 
Distance from
spot (meters)
up to:


1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
over 15
points:



100
95
90
85
80
75
70
65
60
55
50
45
40
35
30
0
 
 
5.6.10.6. The distance for landing bonus is measured from the model aircraft nose at rest to landing spot allocated to the competitor by the organisers.

5.6.10.7. A contest number, derived from the matrix, must be allocated to each competitor, which must be retained throughout the qualifying rounds.

5.6.10.8. If the model aircraft touches either the pilot or his helper during the landing manoeuvre, no landing points will be given.

5.6.10.9. No landing bonus points will be awarded if the model aircraft overflies the end of the group's working time.

5.6.10.10. The competitor who achieves the highest aggregate of points comprising of flight points plus landing bonus points minus penalty points, will be the group winner and will be awarded a corrected score of one thousand points for that group. The corrected score shall be recorded to one decimal place.

5.6.10.11. The remaining competitors in the group will be awarded a corrected score based on their percentage of the group winner's total score before correction (i.e. normalised for that group) calculated from their own total score as follows:
 
 
Competitors own score multiplied by 1000

Highest points total scored in the group (before correction)
 
 
5.6.11. Final Classification

5.6.11.1.

a)
If five (5) or less qualifying rounds are flown, the aggregate score achieved by the competitor will be the sum of his/her scores for those five rounds. If more than five rounds are flown, then his/her lowest score will be discarded before determining his/her aggregate score.

b)
At the end of the qualifying rounds, a minimum of nine (9) competitors with the highest aggregate scores will be placed together in a single group to fly the fly-off rounds. At the organiser's discretion, if frequencies permit, the number of competitors qualifying for the fly-off may be increased.

5.6.11.2. The working time for each competitor who qualifies for the fly-off rounds will be of fifteen (15) minutes duration. As before, audible signal will be given at the start of the group working time, at exactly thirteen (13) minutes and at exactly fifteen (15) minutes.

5.6.11.3. The scoring of the fly-off rounds shall be as in section 5.6.10.

5.6.11.4. Final placing of the competitors who qualify for the fly-off shall be determined by scores in fly-off; their scores in the qualifying rounds being discarded. If less then four fly-off rounds are flown their aggregate scores over the fly-off rounds is counted, if four fly-off rounds are flown the worst result of each competitor is discarded. In the event that two or more competitors have the same aggregate fly-off score, final positions of those competitors shall be determined by their respective position in the qualifying rounds; the higher positioned competitor being awarded the higher final position.

5.6.12. Advisory Information

5.6.12.1. Organisational Requirements

a)
The organisers shell ensure that each competitor has no doubt about the precise second that the group's working time starts and finishes.

b)
Audible indication may be by automobile horn, bell or public address system etc. It must be remembered that sound does not travel far against the wind; therefore the positioning of the audio source must be given some thought.

c)
To be a fair contest, the minimum number of fliers in any one group is four. As the contest proceeds, some competitors may be obliged to drop out for various reasons. When a group occurs with three (3) or fewer competitors in it, the organisers move up a competitor from a later group, ensuring if possible, that he/she has not flown against any of the others in previous rounds and of course that his/her frequency is compatible.

5.6.12.2. Time-keeper Duties

a)
Organisers must make sure that all who are to act as timekeepers are fully aware of just how important their duties are and to make certain that they are conversant with the rules particularly those that require quick positive action in order not to jeopardise a competitor's chances in the contest.

b)
The timekeepers will be responsible for handing transmitters to competitors prior to the start of the working time and for returning them to Control immediately after the end of the flight.

c)
The organisers must ensure that an official is nominated to note any competitor who overflies the end of the group's working time and to time his/her excess flight time.

5.6.12.3 Matrixes

a)
A matrix should be employed to minimise situations where any competitor flies against another more than once, except in the fly-off. It is recognised that, in practice, with certain numbers of competitors, or where more than three rounds are flown, a situation where a competitor flies against another more than once may be unavoidable. This must be kept to a minimum.

b)
The method by which each competitor is given a contest number from the matrix is left to the organisers.

c)
Once the contest has started, neither the matrix table nor contest numbers should be changed.

d)
In order to minimise the time needed to run the contest, it is very important that the matrix which gives the minimum number of groups per round, with the maximum possible competitors in each group, will be selected, and the number of frequency groups adjusted accordingly.

5.6.12.4. Frequency Groups

a)
Depending on the number of competitors in the contest and the frequencies available, the organisers will select a matrix and allocate the competitors into equally sized frequency groups according to their frequencies; reserve (dummy) places may be inserted into a frequency group at this stage. Each frequency group can comprise a number of different actual frequencies, but a frequency can only appear in one frequency group. These frequency groups are named “A”, “B”, “C” and so on, in the matrix tables that follow. At this stage, some competitors may have to change their radio frequencies in order to balance the numbers in each group.

b)
Organisers can then assign a unique contest number to each competitor from the matrix for round 1 of the contest; the competitor must keep this number for the remainder of the contest (round 2, round 3,....). For example, in a contest with 36 competitors, using matrix B, a competitor may be grouped into frequency group B and then given competition number 8. He then flies in flying group 2 in round 1, in flying group 1 in round 2, in flying group 3 in round 3.

5.6.12.5. The Matrixes

Matrix (a) 25 Competitors, identified by their competitor's number (1 - 25), divided equally into 5 frequency groups (A, B, C, D, E). Each round divided into 5 flying groups (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Round 1
Frequency Group
 

1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
A
1
6
11
16
21
B
2
7
12
17
22
C
3
8
13
18
23
D
4
9
14
19
24
E
5
10
15
20
25

Round 2
Frequency Group
 

1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
A
1
6
11
16
21
B
7
12
17
22
2
C
13
18
23
3
8
D
19
24
4
9
14
E
25
5
10
15
20

Round 3
Frequency Group
 

1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
A
1
6
11
16
21
B
12
17
22
2
7
C
23
3
8
13
18
D
9
14
19
24
4
E
20
25
5
10
15

The matrixes for 36, 49, 64, 81 and 100 competitors are not available at this time. If you need information about these larger matrixes, please go to the FAI Sporting Code Section for additional details.
 
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