F3D (FAI) - Pylon Racing
F3D (FAI) Pylon Racing
These are the currrent 1998
Rules, Coutesy of the FAI Web Site
- 5.2. CLASS F3D: PYLON
- 5.2.1. Definition of
Radio Control Pylon Racing Models:
- Aeromodels in which the
propulsion energy is provided by a piston type motor and in which
the lift is obtained by aerodynamic forces acting on the supporting
surfaces which except for the control areas must remain fixed in
- The model must be of
conventional design with forward wing and an empennage with the
general lines of a full size aircraft. Unusual or unconventional
features must be justified with three view drawings or photographs
of similar features used on full size aircraft.
- Para B.3.1. of Section 4b
(Builder of the Model) is not applicable to class F3D.
- A pylon team shall consist of
a pilot and a mechanic/caller.
- All pilots must be
accompanied by a caller/mechanic for reasons of safety. The caller
can be the team manager, another competitor from the same team or a
third party. In all cases the caller must be the holder of an FAI
licence not necessarily issued by the NAC of the pilot, and must
have paid an entry fee.
- Each pilot and
mechanic/caller shall be registered as a team from the beginning of
the competition through to its end.
- 5.2.2. Motor(s)
- Motor(s) must be of the
reciprocating piston type, with a maximum total swept volume of 6,6
- 5.2.3. Shut-off
- The engine shall be equipped
with a positive radio controlled engine shut-off. The pilot must be
able to shut off his engine by radio control, on the ground, or in
the air, within five seconds of command, irrespective of aircraft
- 188.8.131.52. Silencer
- The motor(s) shall be fitted
with a silencer. Within its length there shall be an expansion
chamber of not less than 30 mm diameter and 100 mm length; the
exhaust outlet's total area shall not be more than 80 mm2
- 5.2.4. Propeller
- Only fixed propellers may be
used. Two-bladed wooden or two or more blade composite resin
continuous fibre construction propellers may be used.
- 5.2.5. Propeller Spinner
- A rounded nose metal spinner
of at least 25 mm diameter must be fitted.
- 5.2.6. Fuselage
- 184.108.40.206. Cross-section
- The fuselage shall have a
minimum height of 175 mm and a minimum width of 85 mm, the
measurements to be of the fuselage body and are to exclude any fins,
attachments or spacers. Both minimum dimensions must occur at the
same cross-section location. The fuselage at this point will have a
minimum cross sectional area of 100 cm2 excluding fillets
and competitors will be required to provide templates to prove this.
Fillets are not considered part of the fuselage or lifting surfaces.
- 220.127.116.11. Cowls
- The motor or motor(s) must be
enclosed, with the exception of the silencer, cylinder head and
controls which must be manipulated during operation of the motor.
The cylinder head for this purpose is defined as the top (or outer)
1 centimetre of the motor, excluding ignition plug or compression
- 18.104.22.168. Landing Gear
- The landing gear may have two
or three wheel design with the main wheels having a minimum track of
150 mm. The minimum diameter of the main wheels shall be 57 mm and
the minimum width of the wheel or wheel spat or wheel pant shall be
12 mm for at least 1/3 of the diameter. A tail skid may be used in
lieu of a tail wheel. A positive means of steering on the ground
shall be provided, rudder control acceptable.
- 22.214.171.124. A cockpit or canopy
profile must be evident and capable of enclosing a pilot's head 50
mm from the chin to the top of the head. The canopy need not be
transparent and a pilot need not be fitted.
- 5.2.7. Lifting Surfaces
- 126.96.36.199. Area of Surfaces
- Total projected area of the
lifting surfaces (wing and horizontal tail combined) shall be a
minimum of 34 dm2. With a biplane, the smaller of the two
wings shall have at least 2/3 of the area of the larger wing. No
delta or flying wing type aircraft are allowed.
- 188.8.131.52. Wing Span
- Minimum wing span shall be
1150 mm for a monoplane and 750 mm for the largest wing of a
- 184.108.40.206. Wing Thickness
- Wing thickness of the root
shall be at least 22 mm for a monoplane, and 18 mm for a biplane. On
a biplane with different size wings, the smaller wing must be at
least 13 mm thick at the root. Wing thickness may decrease in a
straight line taper from root to tip as viewed from the leading or
- Note: Root shall be
defined as the innermost wing section, not counting fillets, that
may be measured without removing wing from fuselage.
- On a completely exposed wing,
such as on a parasol monoplane or the top wing of most biplanes, the
root is that section of the wing that is intersected by a projection
of the outline of the fuselage as seen in the top view, i.e. the
root section would be 50 mm from the centreline of an exposed wing
on a model with a 100 mm wide fuselage.
- 5.2.8. Weight
- Weight less fuel, but
including all equipment necessary for flight shall be at least 2200
g and not more than 3000 g. If ballast is used it must be
permanently and safely affixed.
- 5.2.9. Fuel
- Fuel to a standard formula
for glow plug and spark ignition motors will be supplied by the
organisers. Its composition shall be 80% methanol, 20% castor oil.
- 5.2.10. Racing Course
- The triangular course will be
laid out as follows: The course is 10 laps with individual length of
400 m. Total distance travelled is 4 km. The race starts at the
start-finish line. All take-offs will be ROG, no mechanical device
will be used to assist the aircraft, but hand-pushing is permitted.
The race is terminated at the start-finish line 10 full laps later.
The race course specification may be modified in the interest of
safety or to suit existing field conditions if safety is not
compromised. The pylons should have a minimum height of 4 m and
should not exceed 5 m height.
- 5.2.11. Organisation for
Radio Controlled Pylon Racing Contests
- For transmitter and
frequency control see Section 4b, Para. B.8.
- All officials on the race
course and all competitors must wear a crash helmet with a chin
strap. The helmet must be able to withstand the impact of a flying
pylon model. Heats shall be arranged in accordance with the radio
frequencies in use to permit simultaneous flights.
- Each competitor has to
introduce two different frequencies, distant of a minimum of
20 kHz , which he must be able to use on all the models entered in
- 5.2.12. Operation of the
- 220.127.116.11. Flight timers and
lap counters: Each competitor shall be assigned one official during
each heat. This official will time the competitor's aircraft for
the required ten laps. In doing so he will count the laps flown and
advise the pilot when he has completed the necessary 10 laps. He
will keep the recorded time on his timing device until he has
entered the time on the score sheet under the supervision of the
starter. At the number 1 pylon there will be one Pylon Judge and an
Official Signaller for each competitor in the heat. The Pylon Judge
will stand in close proximity to the pylon. The signallers will
stand perpendicular to the direction of the course on the right
hand side of the pylon, as seen by the competitors, no more than 5
metres away from the pylon. Each signaller will have a distinctive
colour allocated, and the Contest Director will arrange for each
model to be identified by one signaller before the start of every
- Note: Signals may
be by coloured flags or lights.
- 18.104.22.168. The signallers
will have their flags in a ready position, or their lights off as
the aircraft reach midcourse between No. 3 and No. 1 pylons, or
earlier. At the instant the model draws level with the No.1 pylon
on the correct side the signaller will briskly lower his flag, or
switch his light on. There will be no pilot's helpers at any of the
- 22.214.171.124. At the No. 2 and
No. 3 pylons, the Official Judge will stand in close proximity to
the pylon they are judging.
- 126.96.36.199. A Sideline Judge
will be posted in the front on the pit area on the spectator side
of the racing course. The Sideline Judge will record as an
infringement, any overflight of the pit or spectator areas.
- The judges at No. 2 and No.
3 pylons will record a cut pylon infringement). At the end of each
race the Sideline and Pylon Judges will inform the Race Starter of
any infringement by any competitor.
- 188.8.131.52. A maximum of 4
models per heat will be allowed.
- 184.108.40.206. The Race Starter
is in charge of each heat, the starter will ensure that all
competitors and Race Officials are ready to commence. Each
signaller will have a flag or light of a distinctive colour, the
starter will arrange for each model to be identified by one
signaller before the start of any heat. A radio operation check
from each competitor will be made prior to starting motor(s).
- A maximum of 1 minute will
be allowed for starting and adjusting the motor(s), at which point
the race will commence. A competitor whose engine is not running at
the end of the 1-minute period will be disqualified from the heat.
No competitor shall be permitted to take off once the first model
has passed the start/finish line heading from No. 1 to No. 2 pylon
on the first lap, and no time shall be given him for that heat.
- 220.127.116.11. All laps are to be
flown counter-clockwise with turns to the left. No minimum altitude
is required for racing.
- 18.104.22.168. At the completion
of the 10 laps the Lap Counter/Timekeeper must immediately instruct
the competitor to remove his aircraft from the course.
- 22.214.171.124. A penalty will be
incurred if the competitor releases the model before the drop of
the starter's flag or starting signal, cuts a pylon or flies
outside the Sideline Judge. Two infringements constitute
disqualification for that flight.
- 126.96.36.199 Starting positions
in all races will be determined by draw with the No.1 position
being closest to No. 2 pylon.. Models will be released from the
starting line on the starting signal (flag drop or light signal) at
one second intervals with timing commencing at the starting signal
for that particular model.
- 188.8.131.52 The Contest
Director has the right to request any competitor to make a flight
to demonstrate the airworthiness of his model and/or ability to fly
the airplane around the course. If during the race, the Contest
Director considers any model to be flying erratically, dangerously,
or so low as to endanger Course Officials, he may disqualify the
competitor from that heat or from all heats and require the model
to be landed immediately. Persistent flying below the top of the
pylons may be considered dangerous to the Course Officials.
- 184.108.40.206 Each competitor
may have only one helper in each race and the helper may release
the model at the start and give the pilot verbal information
regarding the flying course of his model and official signals. The
designation "competitor" may refer to an individual or
team entry of no more than two persons. Any award will be made
jointly to team members.
- The pilot or mechanic of one
team may act as the mechanic/helper in one or more other teams.
However, any one model may not be used by more than one team, nor
may roles be interchanged in a team.
- 220.127.116.11 After the
starting signal (flag drop or light signal) is given, any contact
between two models shall be considered a collision and the models
involved must land immediately. The Contest Director is required to
give such competitors a second opportunity to record a score in
that round, provided that in his opinion the aircraft is still
airworthy or the competitor has an airworthy reserve model.
- In the event of a
malfunction of the timing, lap counting, signalling or other such
equipment which is the responsibility of the organisers, the
competitor(s) affected by such malfunction shall be given the
opportunity to record a score for that round.
- 18.104.22.168 The loss of any
part of the model after the starting signal (flag drop or light
signal) and before the engine stops disqualifies the model for
that flight except as a result of a collision where Para. 22.214.171.124
- 5.2.13. Scoring
- 126.96.36.199. The flight of each
model shall be timed with a timing device measuring to at least
1/100th of a second) by a lap counter/timekeeper. Timing shall
start when the starting signal is given to the individual
- The lap counter/timekeeper
stops his timing device after ten laps have been completed by the
competitor and, supervised by the starter, records the elapsed time
on the competitor's score sheet.
At the completion of each heat,
the pylon and side-line judges notify the starter as to which
models have infringed. The starter the advises the lap
counters/timekeepers of those who will record the total number of
infringements for each competitor on his score sheet.
- The score sheets are then
processed by a scorer who will: a) if one infringement was
incurred, add 1/10th of the flyer's time for ten laps to give the
corrected time; b) if two or more infringements were incurred,
cancel the flight; c) round the competitor's corrected time to the
nearest 1/10th of a second.
- 188.8.131.52. Points shall be
awarded after each race as follows: The competitor's score is his
corrected time in seconds to the first decimal place. If the
competitor fails to complete his flight or is disqualified the
score shall be 200.
- 184.108.40.206. The winner of the
event is the competitor who has accumulated the lowest score after
the conclusion of all heats. If four or more rounds are flown, each
competitor's worst score shall be discarded. If nine or more rounds
are flown, each competitor's worst (highest) two scores shall be
- 220.127.116.11. If the time
permits, and there is no frequency conflict, ties shall be broken
by a fly off race. Otherwise, the best single race score shall be
considered in resolving a tie.