April 25-27, 2014
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
Contest Day Information
Entry Form Format
Mission 1: Climb and Release
- The payload is a single, regulation golf ball which will be contest
provided. The payload may be carried with any type of descent
vehicle or system desired, subject to restrictions.
- While carrying the payload, climb as high as possible within 10 seconds and release the payload
2: High Speed Cruise
- The Payload Descent Time (PDT) determines the allowable time to complete Mission 2
- Complete as many figure-8 laps as possible on a 600 ft. course within the PDT.
- A single, internal combustion (IC) engine only. Any one of the following engines are allowed:
- Magnum XLS-46
- O.S. 46 LA ABN
- O.S. 46 AX II ABL
- SuperTigre GS-45
- ThunderTiger PRO .46
- Methanol / Nitromethane fuel only. Contest provided Cool Power 15% or equivalent
- No Injections, fuel additives, or turbocharging
- All propulsion power must come from the single IC engine.
- No modifications may be made to the engine, with the following exceptions:
- The muffler is not considered part of the engine. Teams are free to use any exhaust system.
- Teams may use any glow plug
- RTV may be used for gaskets and / or sealant
- Exhaust should not be aimed downward (to protect runway mat).
- Engines will be marked in an inconspicuous location during inspection.
Teams must be willing to break down engines for post-contest
inspection / rules verification.
- No manner of propulsion is allowed on any payload descent system.
- Propeller must be a commercially available, balanced propeller for gas/glow engines only. Propeller blades may be clipped in diameter.
- Static engine RPM must not exceed 16,000 rpm at WOT
- ROG (Rise off Ground) only. No launch assist of any type,
including hand launch. Nothing may be left behind. 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
the length of the runway spaced 15 ft. apart. There is also
grass runway of similar dimensions. Teams may use both
intentionally dropped from the plane other than the payload system.
may compete with multiple airframes, however the basic
airframe shape and size for each must be the same.
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.
Procedures and Scoring
Mission 1: Climb and Release
- Engine run-up, check tach @ WOT, and controls.
- Time starts when aircraft begins takeoff roll.
aircraft is given 10 seconds to climb into the designated area east of
the runway. Aircraft should turn east as soon as possible after
Judges will record the payload descent time (PDT) from release, to whichever occurs first:
payload must be released before a horn sounds at the end of 10
seconds. If the payload is not clearly separated from the main
aircraft when the horn sounds, the attempt is disqualified (DQ.)
Mission 1 Restrictions:
- Touchdown of the payload in the designated area
- Payload is no longer visible to the judges
- 3 minutes
payload must land anywhere to the EAST of an imaginary line aligned with
the west edge of the runway. Otherwise the attempt is DQ.
- The type or design of the payload descent system used is allowed to change during the contest.
2: High Speed Cruise
- Engine run-up, check tach @ WOT, and controls.
- Take off and fly to the safe distance designated course entry (indicated by the safety judge)
- Time starts after the pilot is cleared to enter the course, and the plane passes the first turn line, and ends at the PDT.
- Fly figure 8’s with all turns away from the pilot as seen in the figure
below. Planes do not need to fly around a flag, they just must pass a turn line in space.
team will provide two flight crew members to serve as turn indicators,
and will stand next to the Cut Judges. When a plane crosses the
turn line, they will signal their caller by raising a flag.
Crew flaggers must not raise a flag prior to the airplane
crossing the turn line, or it will be considered a "cut."
- Cut Judges will use
sighting guide to
determine when a plane has passed a turn line, and if a flag has been
raised early, or if a plane has "cut" the turn. If a cut
the judge will indicate a disqualification (DQ) for that
flight attempt by raising a flag. If a plane is DQ'ed, the pilot should land as
soon as possible.
Mission 2 Restrictions:
2 must be performed immediately after mission 1 within the team's given
time window, using the same plane that just completed mission 1.
- A PDT is only valid for a mission 2 performed immediately after mission 1, within the given time window.
the aircraft is waiting on the runway for the judges to return an
official PDT, no modifications or configuration changes may be made to the plane other than:
- A propeller change. If prop is changed, a runup tach check must be performed.
- A glow plug change
- Minor repair or adjustment due to landing damage such as bent landing gear.
- No fuel may be taken. Airplanes must perform mission 2 with the remaining fuel on board from mission 1.
- Score = Total number of turn flags raised within the PDT of mission
2. A flag is raised each time a plane crosses a turn line (including the first)
- Fly as many laps as possible within a 3 minute window, in full
mission 1 configuration. If a team has used multiple mission 1
configurations during the course of the day, then for the tiebreaker
they must use the configuration that yielded them the highest
As with a regular mission, time begins after the pilot is cleared
to enter the course and when the plane crosses the first turn line.
The complete payload descent system must remain with the aircraft
during the entire flight.
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
- 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)
person beyond the spectator line (including officials), must
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 involved with starting the aircraft engine
at any time (flightline or pits), Or holding the plane at runup/start, must wear official safety
glasses, gloves (leather, or other types of whole-hand cut-resistant
gloves are acceptable), and hearing protection (foam earplugs are sufficient)
must make sure that people are standing clear of the plane of the
propeller in case of a blade failure. The safest location is
behind the propeller. All individuals must be behind the plane of
the propeller when running up the engine. Only the starter should
be in front, however the throttle should not be advanced until the
starter is in a safe location.
Crew: Required minimum flight crew 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
Stands by the pilot to call turns.
- Crew Flagmen:
of two. Stand near turn marker judges to indicate turn line
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
- 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.
- Engines or
motors must not be started in the teams pit area. There will
be designated areas for engine runup and testing.
- Speedfest is not an event
appropriate for novice pilots. Teams should use experienced
with a record of safety.
- Contest organizers will provide a pilot upon request. Teams may not however request a specific pilot.
- Pilot instructions:
- Safety must the primary responsibility of every pilot.
there is some aspect of the airplane that the pilot deems unsafe, he
must ensure the team takes corrective action before flight.
must follow the instructions of the safety officer during flight.
If instructed to abort, or even sacrifice the airplane for
safety, the pilot must do so immediately without question.
must never allow the airplane to cross a line defined by the West edge
of the runway. If the line is crossed, power must be cut
immediately, and a turn made away from the spectators.
will be instructed how far to the east to fly patterns in order to
maintain safe distances from the spectators. India class uses a
275 ft. setback from the spectator line. Alpha class uses a 675
- During high speed flights in the pattern, Alpha
class pilots are requested to fly as low as they feel comfortable, to
provide an extra margin of safety for spectators.
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
the tips of their propellers (approximately 0.5 inches) on both sides,
white. This is to reduce chances of
injury. (Teams should balance their propellers after they are
engine should be securely attached to the mount, and the mount to the
airframe. Due to vibration, mounting bolts must use nylock nuts,
or blue Loctite.
2.4 GHz spread
spectrum radios will be allowed. The
receiver battery must be a 4-cell (4.8v) NiCD or NiMH pack
and have an external switch. There must also be
a simple means for displaying voltage to the judges. At a
minimum, teams may have an external
connector to check voltage with an expanded scale voltmeter. Any brand of voltmeter is allowed as long as it is a load test type. Alternatively, teams are encouraged to use a voltage monitor (example) mounted permanently to the exterior of the airplane.
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
demonstrated using the procedure detailed in the transmitter manual.
team will mark their 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; "ZSU Zebras" would
Airworthiness Inspection of Aircraft
to competition, all aircraft shall undergo a safety inspection.
Safety inspections will be conducted on a first come, first
served basis. Teams are encouraged to go through safety inspections on
the Friday afternoon of Speedfest so as to not miss any flight
The overall quality of construction must be considered safe and airworthy. Safety inspectors will be checking the following:
rods or cables and control horns, shall be installed in such a way that
they will not become disconnected in flight. Clevises must have a
"keeper mechanism." Adjustable control linkages that use set screws or
friction are NOT acceptable.
- Pushrods shall have only one threaded end that is free to turn.
- Control surfaces shall be firm on the hinge line without excessive play.
- Servos shall be mounted securely with little play.
- Any servo extensions used must have connections secured with a servo lead lock
screws holding the engine to the mount and the mount to the firewall
shall be in place and secure using nyloc nuts or Loctite.
- Spinner or prop nut used to secure propeller.
- Prop tips painted white last 0.5 inches of span.
radio receiver and battery pack shall be secure, and surrounded by soft
foam rubber or other vibration-dampening material and adequately
protected against contamination by engine exhaust, raw fuel, or fuel
- Receiver battery check: 4-cell NiCD or NiMH, external switch, team must display voltage check to judges.
- Wings, if removable, shall be securely attached to the fuselage by some mechanical means such as bolts.
- The aircraft shall be free of structural damage which may compromise safety.
- Range check / failsafe verification
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. This will include inspection and measurements of the airframe and engine for compliance.
team will be provided at least 3 flight attempt opportunities. The best score of all attempts will be retained.
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.
Items to bring:
AMA membership cards for flight crews
- Proof of flight
- Helmets, safety glasses, hearing protection, 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.
the designated time on the day of the event, flight crews must
register. Speedfest officials will then provide each with a
flight line pass. Registration consists of the following:
- Flight crews must each show proof of current AMA membership
- Team Flags and safety gear will be checked
- Flight Crews, advisors, and mentors should report with their airplane to have a team photo taken.
- Teams will
be assigned a queue number.
- Numbers will
be called in sequence from 1 to n
will be fueled prior to entering the queue. Before receiving the fuel,
must be able to confirm to a judge that their fuel tank is empty.
teams are called, they will need to go get their fuel in the hangar,
and have a receiver/transmitter voltage check. Failure of the
voltage check will result in DQ for that round.
- After fueling, teams will be given their payload, and then move to the queue boxes
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 an X minute window when called to the
line. Within that window, the team must be able to
their plane, compete, and clear the course. Failure to leave
course in the X minute window will result in forfeiting the team’s
time slot in the next round. Continued violation will result
losing best score.
Teams that create promotional videos have the opportunity to
recognized at the event, and to receive awards. Videos can
promote: their team, airplane, university, country,
Speedfest, or any
combination of these in an entertaining and informative way.
will send the link of their videos to the SpeedfestAero address no later than April 20,
and the winner will be
chosen by electronic voting. There are no restrictions on who
vote. Votes will be accumulated from April 20, 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.
Teams should test their videos on YouTube, Vimeo, or another hosting
site so that they are not removed or muted due to copyrighted music.
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.)
- 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
each team entered,
send a separate email with the following information in the following
- Team Contact email
- Team Advisor email
- Team Pilot email (if Speedfest pilot not being used)
the Subject line
your email write: “Alpha Class Speedfest Entry Request, (Team
Subject line example:
Alpha Class Speedfest Entry Request, ZSU Zebras, 21Sept2012
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 20
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