Multispectral Labs (UML), Oklahoma State University, NASA OK Space
Grant Consortium, Zivko Aeronautics, Spirit AeroSystems, AUVSI
is an exciting, high-speed aircraft design competition which is
intended to foster enthusiasm for aviation, and unmanned aircraft
design. There are two flight classes: Alpha Class is the Advanced class which
is open to all collegiate-level teams. India Class is the Invitational class.
It is open to high-school level teams on an invitational
top 3 teams in each class will be recognized with awards. The
winners of each class will be awarded the Speedfest
Requirements and Design Constraints
Flight Procedures and Scoring
General Aircraft Requirements
Entry Form Format
Mission 1: Efficient Cruise
plane must fly with a minimum of 40 paintballs which are
contest-supplied immediately before each mission. Specific brand of
Tag and Dash
full payload, fly as many laps as possible on a 900 ft course in 3
off and drop paintball payload at a 10ft x 10ft target.
a high-speed dash 900 ft and back, as quickly as possible.
batteries must weigh 200g or less. Weight is inclusive of
any wires and connectors soldered to the batteries.
must be connected to the ESC on the positive lead, through a
limiter/arming (LA) system. The LA system must consist of two 30 amp, Standard ATO fuses in parallel.
Each airplane must have the fuse holder connectors flush with the
outside of the airplane so that the fuses may easily be used as the
arming shunt. Any ATO-style fuse holders may be used. An example
is the McMaster-Carr 8110K4.
Fuses will be provided to each team at the flight line immediately
prior to each flight. The fuses will be McMaster-Carr 7460K49 30 Amp. An example of an LA system fuseholder can be seen here. With fuses installed, here.
The leads on each end are soldered together and then to a
connector on each end. How this is accomplished, and what
connectors are used, are at the discretion of the team.
BEC on the ESC must be disconnected. Receiver must be powered by a
separate battery. The receiver battery may only power the receiver and
- ROG (Rise off Ground) only. No launch assist of any type, including hand launch. Nothing may be left behind. Nothing
intentionally dropped from the plane other than the payload.
Teams may use a
flight crew member to hold the airplane at the tail prior to
release if they desire, as long as the crew member is completely behind
the propeller arc. The runway is a smooth geotextile
material, and is 60 ft wide by 600 ft long. Three small seams run along
the length of the runway spaced 15 ft. apart. There is also an adjacent
grass runway of similar dimensions. Teams may use both runways.
may compete with multiple airframes, however the basic
airframe shape and size for each must be the same.
Procedures and Scoring
Mission 1: Efficient Cruise
off and fly past the turn line, at which point the crew flagger raises a flag, and
keeps it raised.
- Turn parallel to
the turn line until reaching the safe setback position, which will be
indicated to the pilot by the flight line safety judge. Once
cleared by the Safety Judge, pilots may enter course at their discretion.
- Time begins
when the aircraft crosses the turn line again, which the crew flagger
indicates by dropping the flag. The 3 minute
time starts at this point. The cut judge will watch to make sure
the flag is dropped when the plane crosses the line.
- Laps are
figure 8’s with all turns away from the pilot as seen in the figure
below. Each time a plane crosses the line outbound, the crew
flagger should raise the flag and keep it raised until the plane has
crossed the line again inbound.
course will be
administered similar to the standard AMA 2-pylon course
Each team will provide two flight crew members to serve as turn
indicators, and will stand next to the Cut Judges. When their
plane passes the turn line, they will signal their caller by
a flag. Cut Judges located near the spectator line, will use
sighting guide to
determine when a plane has passed a turn line, and if a plane has "cut" the turn. If a cut
the judge will wave a flag indicating a disqualification (DQ) for that
flight attempt. If a plane is DQ'ed, the pilot should land as
soon as possible.
- Scoring is
based on distance traveled (laps) within three minutes,
on a course with 2 turn lines spaced 900ft. apart. One
awarded for each turn line crossed (including the first).
Tag and Dash
off and drop payload at a 10ft x 10ft target (angled back about 25 deg
from vertical) located near the Start/End line, aligned with the
runway. Drop command must be given prior to airplane first passing
the Start/End line. Teams may use an additional crew flagger to
assist with the drop location if they wish. The cut judge will
determine if the drop has been made. If the payload has not been
dropped, the flight attempt will by DQ'ed.
the plane crosses the line, the crew flagger raises a flag, and
keeps it raised.
aircraft must remain
past the Start/End line until ready to enter the course.
will fly parallel to the line to the safe setback point indicated
by the safety judge. Pilots may prepare for course entry and
the course at their discretion. (See figure below)
- Time begins
when the aircraft crosses the Start line, which the crew flagger
indicates by dropping the flag. The cut judge will watch to make sure
the flag is dropped when the plane crosses the line.
plane will fly a minimum of 900 ft. to the turn line at which
point the downwind crew flagger will indicate passage by raising a flag.
the plane again crosses the End line
the crew flagger will raise a flag, and the timer will be stopped.
If either cut judge raises a flag, that flight attempt is
is time to fly from the Start line, and back again.
will be rounded to the nearest half second. If a Mission 2 score
is not obtained due to a DQ, or a non-attempt, the Mission 2 time awarded will be 100.
- Score = 60 *
Mission 1 Flags / Mission 2 Time
hits on the target will be counted during the day. At the end
the competition, if a tiebreaker is needed, it will be decided based on
which team had the highest number of "hits" on the target.
possible to count hits because the number is too high, a sudden death
tiebreaker will be used. Teams will have 5 minutes to hit the
target as many times as they wish. Teams may take off and
multiple times during that 5 minutes. The dash portion of the
mission is not required in the 5 minute time. In the event
teams again tie in the tiebreaker, the same position will be awarded to
must be the number one priority of all contest participants. The
Speedfest organizers have gone to great lengths to keep the event safe
for participants and spectators. Please carefully note the
is conducted under compliance with FAA AC 91-57. As such it
AMA event. Contestants are expected to conduct themselves, and operate
their aircraft in accordance to the AMA Safety Code. (the following
link contains all AMA documents including the Safety Code: http://www.modelaircraft.org/documents.aspx)
racing rules require every
person beyond the spectator line (including officials), to properly
wear a helmet approved by OSHA, DOT, ANSI, SNELL,NOCSAE or other
recognized organization that certifies safety equipment.
a very wide variety of helmets that meet these criteria including;
skateboarding helmets, bicycle helmets,
- Any flight
crew member handling the aircraft during a mission, or when performing
engine runups, must wear official safety glasses and gloves
(leather, or other types of whole-hand cut-resistant gloves are
Crew: Minimum flight crew required for Alpha Class scoring is 4 members
(Pilot, Caller, and 2 Flagmen). Beyond that, the number and
of the flight crew is at the discretion of each team, however it may
consist of a maximum of 7 team members. Functions of flight crew
members may be combined if desired. All must verify current
membership at the event. Typical flight crew functions
- Pilot: The
person flying the aircraft. (Speedfest is not a contest
appropriate for new pilots. Teams should use experienced pilots
with a record of safety, or use official Speedfest pilots.)
Stands by the pilot to call turns.
- Crew Flagmen: Minimum
of two. Stand near turn marker judges to indicate turn line
- Recovery: (Optional)
Only flight crew and contest officials may
go recover aircraft
(Optional) Teams may have a member assist with
starting the engine on the
runway, and runup prior to start. The person may also serve
as a timer or additional flagman.
- Any level of
flight autonomy must be compliant with AMA rules (See http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/560.pdf)
- When a team
number is called for a flight, only flight crew may enter the field
beyond the spectator area.
- All aircraft
to be flown must go through an airworthiness inspection outlined below.
teams not familiar with AMA contest airworthiness inspections, it is
recommended that an experienced RC pilot or AMA Contest Director assist
the team with an airworthiness inspection prior to travelling to the
Speedfest in order to reduce the chances of a delay requiring repairs
- Teams must
AMA Pylon racing waiver form (AMA
The waiver will be provided to teams at the contest during
registration. If a flight crew member is under 18, a parent
guardian must sign the waiver.
- All team
members, who attend the
event should be AMA members. It is the opinion of
the organizers that all
team members, must be committed to the AMA safety code
when designing, building, and flying, unmanned aircraft.
- Each team
must bring a small, class ABC fire extinguisher for their work area.
- Engines or
motors must not be started in the teams pit area. There will
be designated areas for engine runup and testing.
electric planes, the propulsion system must have an arming shunt,
breaking the main connection between the batteries and the
controller. The shunt must be easily accessible, and visible
the outside of the plane. The arming shunt will be inserted
during the startup time
while aircraft are on the starting line, and removed before handling
No part of the aircraft
may be jettisoned or fall off,
including, landing gear which must stay with the aircraft at all
times. For example, no “dollies” or sleds.
propellers are prohibited. Teams must paint
the tips of their propellers (at least 0.5 inches) on both sides,
white, or another bright color. This is to reduce chances of injury. (Teams should balance their propellers after they are painted.)
Only 2.4 GHz spread
spectrum radios will be allowed. A standard radio range check
will be conducted.
Range Check and Fail-Safe:
receivers must be programmed with a fail safe system which will cut off
engine power if signal is lost or interrupted. Operation of
feature must be demonstrated. A standard range check must also be
demonstrated using the procedure detailed in the transmitter manual.
Team Name Lettering
team will mark thier airplane with their team name. Lettering
shall be clearly legible and sized at least 0.5 inches tall.
Lettering shall be on the top surface of the wing.
Abbreviations may be used. For example; "SHS Lancers" would
Airworthiness Inspection of Aircraft
registration, all aircraft shall undergo a safety inspection.
Safety inspections will be conducted using the same team
numbers discussed above.
Safety inspectors will be simply checking the following:
rods or cables, control horns, and servo leads shall be installed in
such a way that they will not become disconnected in flight. Clevises
must have a "keeper mechanism."
- All screws
holding the engine to the mount and the mount to the firewall shall be
in place and secure.
- For India
class: The radio receiver and battery pack shall be surrounded
by soft foam rubber or other vibration-dampening material and
adequately protected against contamination by engine exhaust, raw fuel,
or fuel residue.
surfaces shall be firm on the hinge line without excessive play.
- Servos shall
be mounted securely with little play.
shall have only one threaded end that is free to turn.
- Wings, if
removable, shall be securely attached to the fuselage by some
mechanical means such as bolts.
- The aircraft
shall be free of obvious indications of structural damage which may
- Alpha aircraft
must have an external arming shunt discussed in the Safety Requirements
- Spinner or
prop nut used to secure propeller.
- Teams must have propeller tips painted a bright color.
- Range check and fail safe check
Gear Check: Flight crew must verify that each member has a
helmet. Flight crew airplane handlers must also verify gloves and
safety glasses. Teams must each bring their own safety gear.
of prior flight. Teams must demonstrate proof of prior flight.
This may be done using pictures or video evidence.
aircraft that has been damaged after a safety inspection or has a known
history of problems shall not be permitted to fly until it has been
satisfactorily repaired and re-inspected. Materials used for repair may
come from any source.
Confirmation of class
Judges will also confirm that all aircraft entered comply with the
Design Constraints listed above.
team will be provided at least 3 flight attempt opportunities per class
entered. The best score of all attempts will be retained.
objectives have been created to be as straightforward as possible to
minimize the chances of ambiguity, or multiple
If however, there are questions about the contest, please
email the address found below in the Entry
Form Format section.
objectives and scoring have been designed to minimize the effect of
weather conditions. Expect competition to continue unless
above 30 mph sustained, or if there is continuous rain.
- Speedfest is
a competition between teams.
There are no restrictions on repairs,
spare parts, replacement aircraft, etc. Repaired and
planes must still
conform to the rules for a particular class. If an aircraft
damaged to an extent that airworthiness may be questioned, and is to be
re-flown, the airplane must go through the airworthiness inspection
again. Also, if a replacement plane is used, it
must also go through the airworthiness inspection.
will consist of: volunteers from the aerospace industry, universities
and govt., experienced contest directors and AMA representatives.
Items to bring:
AMA membership cards for flight crews
Class ABC Fire extinguisher (Can be purchased locally if necessary)
- Helmets, safety glasses, and gloves for Flight Crew listed above.
will be limited electrical service for individual teams. A
charging station will be
provided where teams may connect their charging equipment.
- A Rules
Committee will be formed for the purpose of resolving any rules
questions during the Speedfest event. The committee will
of the contest director, a representative from one of the host
industries, and 3 volunteer team advisors (familiar with the Speedfest
rules) taken from the competing teams. Any controversial
interpretations, protests, or conflicts, will be resolved by the
committee by a simple majority vote.
- Teams will
be assigned a queue number based on the date of their official entry.
- Numbers will
be called in sequence from 1 to n
teams that are called to the flight line may pass the spectator line
and enter the course. They must wear the appropriate safety
Optional Speedfest Team
Promotional Video Award
Class: Each team has a 10 minute window when called to the flight
line. Within that window, the team must be able to set up
their plane, compete, and clear the course. Failure to leave the
course in the 10 minute window will result in forfeiting the team’s
time slot in the next round. Continued violation will result in
losing best score.
Teams that create promotional videos have the opportunity to
recognized at the event, and to recieve awards. Videos can
promote: their team, airplane, university, country,
Speedfest, or any
combination of these in an entertaining and informative way.
will link their videos to the SpeedfestUSA page no later than April 12,
and the winner will be
chosen by electronic voting. There are no restrictions on who
vote. Votes will be accumulated from April 12, until
Speedfest contest day.
- Videos may
be no more than 2 minutes in length total.
not refer to specific competitors teams in a negative light.
not contain material considered to be obscene by professional standards.
music is preferred so that we may post your video publicly.
If your video contains copyrighted material, it must conform
"fair use" standards, and be postable on sites such as YouTube,
Livestream, Facebook, etc.
Alpha Class is open to all academic institutions of any type (2-year,
4-year, trade, postgraduate, etc.)
members (other than pilots), must be students of the institution.
Students may be any level (undergraduate, graduate, etc.)
pilots will be available upon request.
- All team
members should be current AMA members. Flight crew must be AMA members.
teams: All team members must be members of the organization
equivalent to the AMA in your country. Pilots however, must
either AMA membership, or membership in an organization that has a
reciprocity agreement with AMA.
Entry Form Format
For each team entered,
send a separate email with the following information in the following
- Team Name
- Team Contact
- Class to be
In the Subject line of
your email write: “Speedfest Entry Request, (Team
Subject line example:
Speedfest Entry Request, ZSU Zebras, 21Sept2012
Send entries to:
keep the Speedfest manageable and enjoyable, a limited number of
entries will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
- A single
institution may compete with no more than two teams.
may enter at any time.
are subject to change until September
30. After this date, rules become final.
Promotional Video due no later than April 12
Speedfest is held at the
Aircraft Flight Station (UAFS) in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Oklahoma is approximately 75 miles from two major airports: Tulsa
International Airport in Tulsa, OK, and Will Rogers Airport
Oklahoma City, OK.
directions, the best way to get to the UAFS is to drive to the
intersection of Hwy 51 (E 6th st.) and N. Clay Road (bulls-eye
in map below). Then take
Clay road north approximately 3.2 miles. The UAFS is just
of the intersection of N. Clay Rd. and E. Airport Rd.
Site Diagram and Course Layout