R/C Scale Competition Explained in Brief

There are three major classes of outdoor competition event for Radio Controlled Scale model aircraft, Flying Only, F4H and F4C, plus the newly introduced Light Scale for models under 5kgs, although this is really just and extension of Flying Only Scale. IC, electric and gas turbine powered aircraft are allowed in all classes, but gas turbine pilots need to check that the site they intend to fly at permits their use, as some club sites have seasonal restrictions on jets.

Flying Only Scale.

There is no Builder of the Model rule for Flying Only Scale events any model can be entered including ARTF’s as long as it is a reasonable scale representation of a full-sized aircraft. The competition is judged, as the title suggests, just on the flying of the aircraft with no static element. Would be competitors do need to be aware however, that a penalty would be applied to models of aircraft that would normally retract their undercarriage in flight, if the model’s undercarriage does not similarly retract. A lesser penalty may apply to the absence of flaps for landing and take-off.

The pilot must perform ten manoeuvres, four compulsory ones, Take-Off, Figure Eight, Descending Circle and Landing, plus six manoeuvres chosen from the list of permissible manoeuvres that are suited to the prototype which has been modelled. These manoeuvres can be seen by downloading the BMFA R/C Scale Flying Score Sheet which lists them, or by downloading a copy of the BMFA Scale Rule Book which also contains diagrams to show how manoeuvres ideally should be flown.

Light Scale

Established in 2019, Light Scale is for models under 5kgs and is flown to the same rules as Flying only. Light scale will be flown concurrently with other scale events but certificates awarded separately.

F4H – Stand-off Scale

The flying section of Standoff scale is the same as for Flying Only, but this event requires the models to be judged for scale accuracy. The competitor must provide documentary evidence in the form of photographs and 3-view drawings of the full-size aircraft modelled so the judges may carry out a comparison with the model. The model is viewed from a distance of five metres hence, close up photographs of the full size aircraft modelled are not required. You can enter ARTF models in Standoff Scale provided that you have made a significant effort to modify them to match the prototype modelled, this would probably mean at least a re-cover and re-paint. In Standoff scale flying scores outweigh the static score 2:1.

F4C – Scale

This is the international competition class and requires that the flyer is also the Builder of the Model. The flying section is the same as for Flying Only and Standoff Scale, but the static judging is more rigorous than in standoff with the model being closely inspected after the initially 5 metre judging. The competitor needs to supply much greater detailed documentation if a high score is hoped for. In F4C the static and flying scores have equal weight.

Scale competitions are held in most parts of the country, the Scale Competition Calendar contains details, there should be and event near you. Apart from the BMFA Nationals which is pre-entry only and events held on MOD property (e.g. Dishforth) for which you would need to register in advance, all Scale events are enter on the day with a pilots’ briefing taking place at around 9.45 AM. We like to think we are a friendly bunch and welcome newcomers. Help and support is always available, you just have to let us know.

If you want to know more about scale competition, or have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Steve Jackson on 07551 969683 or by email at stephenjackson723@gmail.com.