April 24-26,  2015

Hosted By:


Speedfest 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 basis.  The top 3 teams in each class will be recognized with awards.  The winners of each class will be awarded the Speedfest Cup.

Mission Requirements and Design Constraints
Flight Procedures and Scoring
Safety Requirements
General Aircraft Requirements
Contest Day Information
Entry Form Format
Speedfest Site

Mission Requirements

Air Mission:
Ground Mission:

Design Constraints

Air Vehicle
Ground Vehicle

Flight Procedures and Scoring

Air Mission: 

Ground Mission


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:
DQNo Score Awarded
Air mission complete, ground mission incomplete Bonus = 0.25, Ttotal = T15
Completed mission using manual RC ground controlBonus = 1
Completed mission using autonomous ground controlBonus = 1.2

Safety Requirements

Safety 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 following:

General Aircraft Requirements

Metal propellers are prohibited.  Teams must paint 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 painted.)

Engine Mounting
The 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.

Radio Gear:
Only 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.

Range Check and Fail-Safe:
Aircraft receivers must be programmed with a fail safe system which will cut off engine power if signal is lost or interrupted.  Operation of this feature must be demonstrated.  A standard range check must also be demonstrated using the procedure detailed in the transmitter manual.

Team Name Lettering
Each 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 be acceptable.

Preflight Airworthiness Inspection of Aircraft

Prior 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 opportunities.

The overall quality of construction must be considered safe and airworthy. Safety inspectors will be checking the following:

  1. Push/pull 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.  
  2. Pushrods shall have only one threaded end that is free to turn. 
  3. Control surfaces shall be firm on the hinge line without excessive play.
  4. Servos shall be mounted securely with little play.
  5. Any servo extensions used must have connections secured with a servo lead lock
  6. All screws holding the engine to the mount and the mount to the firewall shall be in place and secure using nyloc nuts or Loctite.
  7. Spinner or prop nut used to secure propeller.
  8. Prop tips painted white last 0.5 inches of span.
  9. The 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 residue.
  10. Receiver battery check: 5-cell NiCD or NiMH, external switch and Voltwatch.  Voltwatch set to 6v setting.
  11. Wings, if removable, shall be securely attached to the fuselage by some mechanical means such as bolts.
  12. The aircraft shall be structurally sound as well as free of structural damage which may compromise safety.
  13. Range check / failsafe verification 
  14. Proof of prior flight.  Teams must demonstrate proof of prior flight.  This may be done using pictures or video evidence.
Any 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 rules:
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.

Contest-Day Information Registration
During 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 Sequence
Optional Speedfest Team Promotional Video Award

Speedfest Teams that create promotional videos have the opportunity to be 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.

Teams 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 may vote.  Votes will be accumulated from April 19, until Speedfest contest day.


Entry Form Format

For each team entered, send a separate email with the following information in the following format:

-  Academic institution name
-  Team Name
-  Team Contact email
-  Team Advisor email
-  Team Pilot email (if Speedfest pilot not being used)

In the Subject line of your email write:  “Alpha Class Speedfest Entry Request, (Team Name), (date)”

Subject line example:  Alpha Class Speedfest Entry Request, ZSU Zebras, 21Sept2012

Send entries to:  



Contest Site

Speedfest is held at the Unmanned Aircraft Flight Station (UAFS) in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  
GPS Location: lat=36.1632229 lon=-96.836514
Stillwater Oklahoma is approximately 75 miles from two major airports: Tulsa International Airport in Tulsa, OK,  and Will Rogers Airport in Oklahoma City, OK.  

Airfield Directions:  From all 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 north of the intersection of N. Clay Rd. and E. Airport Rd.  

Speedfest 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 grass runway. 

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 window?

That 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? 

When 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.