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
- The payload is a single, GoPro Hero 3 camera carried by a 1/18 or larger scale mini off road truck or buggy.
- Take off and fly 15 flags. After passing the final upwind
pylon, the plane may fly a pass over, or land on the grass runway
deploying the ground vehicle and sensor.
- Navigate the ground course (manually or autonomously) to the objective.
- A single, internal combustion (IC) engine only.
Either of the following engines are allowed:
- O.S. 46 AX II ABL
- O.S. 55 AX ABL
/ Nitromethane fuel only. Contest provided Cool Power 15% or
Injections, fuel additives, or turbocharging
propulsion power must come from the single IC engine.
modifications may be made to the stock engine or the stock muffler other than removal of the conical baffle.
- Engines may be marked in an inconspicuous location during
Teams must be willing to break down engines for post-contest
inspection / rules verification.
must be a commercially available, balanced propeller for gas/glow
Propeller blades may be clipped in diameter.
- ROG (Rise off Ground) only. No launch assist of any type,
including hand launch. Teams may
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
may compete with multiple airframes, however the basic
airframe shape and size for each must be the same.
part of the flight vehicle system may be jettisoned until after the air
mission is complete (after the last flag is crossed in the air).
- Any 1/18 scale or larger, stock or modified mini off road truck or buggy is acceptable. For example
- Four-wheeled vehicle (4WD recommended)
- Electric powered. 2S Lipo, or 7-cell NiMH or NiCD maximum.
- Suspension: Off road. (Course is a combination of dirt (bare ground), mowed grass, and runway)
- Minimum wheelbase: 6.25 in
- Width (min tire edge to outer edge): 6.5 in
- Tire diameter (min): 2.125 in
- Tire width (min): 7/8 in
- Vehicle minimum dimensions must be met at all times.
Procedures and Scoring
- Take off and fly to the safe distance designated course
entry (indicated by the safety judge)
starts after the pilot is cleared to enter the course, and the plane
passes the first turn line.
- 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
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.
- After completing 15
flags, the aircraft must deploy the ground vehicle on the grass runway
(to the east of the main runway). This may be done by landing on
the grass runway,or deploying by other means such as dropping.
The only restriction is that the operation must be conducted over
or on the grass runway . If deployed by air drop, the aircraft may remain orbiting and then land at pilot/safety judge discretion.
- Once deployed on the grass runway, the ground vehicle must navigate a course to the objective.
The course will be revealed to the teams at the event, but expect it to
consist of navigating around widely spaced cones, passing of sections
of mowed grass (1.5 inches or less), bare ground, and high speed runs along a length of the mat
runway. Expect the ground course total length to be between 2400 ft. and 3600 ft long.
mission may be done manually or autonomously. Autonomous
navigation results in a score bonus. To receive the bonus, all
operation of the ground vehicle after the vehicle begins moving, must
be done autonomously. Teams will be allowed to preview the course
for GPS coordinates if desired. Manual navigation must be done
with the driver in a predetermined location. The course will
allow the vehicle to be seen at all times, however the vehicle may be
as much as 400 ft away from the driver location at times. Teams
may not physically interact with the vehicle untill the mission is
a part of the
ground course, a sign which is unreadable from the team location, will
be placed. To receive the mission score, the team must identify
contents of the sign using the camera, either via video feed, or
by downloading the recording after the mission. The sign content
may change each mission. The sign will be on a vertical board at
least 24 x 24 inches, and mounted so that the bottom edge is on the
ground. The image/lettering on the sign will be identifyable from
at least 50 ft away using the naked eye.
SCORE = Ttotal / Bonus (Low score wins)
T15 = Time from first flag to final flag in the air [seconds]
Ttotal = Total time from course entry to the completion of ground mission [seconds]
Scoring criteria and Bonus:
|DQ||No Score Awarded|
|Air mission complete, ground mission incomplete ||Bonus = 0.25, Ttotal = T15 |
|Completed mission using manual RC ground control||Bonus = 1|
|Completed mission using autonomous ground control||Bonus = 1.2|
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
at any time (flightline or pits), Or holding the plane at runup/start,
must wear official safety
glasses, gloves (level-5 cut-resistant gloves are strongly recommended example), and hearing protection (foam earplugs are
must make sure that people are standing clear of the plane of the
propeller in case of a blade failure. The safest
behind the propeller. All individuals must be behind the
the propeller when running up the engine. Only the starter
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
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 be 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
275 ft. setback from the spectator line. Alpha class uses a
- 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.
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
or blue Loctite.
2.4 GHz spread
spectrum radios will be allowed. The
receiver battery must be a 5-cell NiCD or NiMH pack
and have an external switch. Teams must use a voltage monitor mounted permanently to the plane so that it may be seen at all times when the plane is on the ground. The monitor may be plugged into an open channel on the receiver, or connected to a "Y" at a point after the switch. The monitor must be ON when the required receiver switch is ON.
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
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
- Control surfaces shall be firm on the hinge line without
- 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: 5-cell NiCD or NiMH, external
switch and Voltwatch. Voltwatch set to 6v setting.
- Wings, if removable, shall be securely attached to the
fuselage by some mechanical means such as bolts.
- The aircraft shall be structurally sound as well as free of structural damage
which may compromise safety.
- Range check / failsafe verification
of prior flight. Teams must demonstrate proof of prior
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.
Confirmation of class
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. Maximum number of flight attempts depends on
several factors, and may be 7 or more. The best score of all
attempts will be
objectives and scoring have been designed to minimize the effect of
weather conditions. Expect competition to continue unless
above 30 mph sustained with cross, or if there is continuous rain.
If all teams are not provided with 3 flight attempt
opportunities, the rain date will be used.
- 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:
crews must each show proof of current AMA membership
Flags and safety gear will be checked
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
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
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 YouTube link of their videos to the SpeedfestAero address no
later than April 19,
and the winner will be
chosen by electronic voting. There are no restrictions on who
vote. Votes will be accumulated from April 19, 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.
Teams should test their videos on YouTube 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 19
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
Can the airplane land on the runway but deploy the car
in the grass?
Yes. Under the Air Vehicle Design Constraints, the
rules state that “both runways may be used.”
However, the deployment of the ground vehicle must be done over the
Can the airplane begin the turn
before the flag?
Yes. However the team may NOT raise their turn
flag early. If the flag is raised early,
it will be considered DQ. If the plane
turns before the team flag is raised, the plane will have to turn back to pass
the flag before the flag is awarded.
How long is the “X” minute time
will depend on the number of teams.
Expect the window to be no less than 8 minutes.
Do we need to tell the judges what the sign says
within the X minute time window?
No. You have until your next flight window to
identify the sign to the scorekeeper.
That is usually at least 1 hour.
At what point could team members
enter the flight zone to retrieve parts of the plane?
the safety judge gives the team clearance after the plane lands.
Do all items have to be retrieved
during the X minute window?
Yes. All items should
be recovered (unless it is beyond the fence) and the team completely off of the
field. Otherwise the team’s next flight
window is forfeited. For any item beyond
the fence, recovery is at judge’s discretion.
This may happen later during a flight break.
How will autonomous be verified?
After initiating the vehicle
motion, and switching to autonomous control, the driver must not have his hands
on the control stick or wheel. The flight
line judge will verify the car is not being driven.
Can we possibly have more information about the ground course?
Expect a ground course that is somewhat similar to a Speedfest air course, with the addition of a leg to identify the sign.