2024 Soaring Contests Summer Calendar
Minnesota Afterburners radio controlled model aircraft club AMA Charter #5457
The 2024 F5J thermal duration sailplane contest dates are May 11th, June 15th, July 13th, and August 10th. The Sunday after each event is the weather backup contest date. Anyone is welcome to compete with their glider, assist in running the contest, or simply attend as a spectator. The entire MNAB field will be closed to all other types of flying during the contest hours. Field setup is at 8AM. Pilot’s meeting is at 8:45AM. Depending on the number of rounds, the contest will end around 3PM. What is an F5J contest? In the F5J cometition class, the aim is to fly a remote-controlled glider with an electric motor for 10 minutes from as low a takeoff altitude as possible and then aim for a spot landing. The motor run time is a maximum of 30 seconds. The takeoff altitude is determined by a technical device in the glider. It records the highest altitude achieved by the glider, including 10 seconds after the motor is shut off. There is a ½ point deduction for every meter recorded on launch up to 200 meters. After that there is a 3 point deduction for every meter. The combination of the flight time, the landing accuracy, and the takeoff altitude results in the score for that flight. Depending of the weather conditions, the topography of the field, and pilot skill, the starting launch height is generally between 20 and 200 meters on the launch portion of the flight. The pilot’s goal is to find and use even the smallest thermals, otherwise the specified flight duration of 10 minutes may not be achieved. F5J planes usually have a wingspan of 3.5-4 meters and are mostly made of carbon fiber. A line-launch sailplane that has been converted to electric will also work fine, as will one made from wood or foam. The main goal is to have fun in a competition setting, and learn more about reading the vertical air currents. For our MNAB Contests, we do a couple of local rule changes from the standard F5J rules. 1)We do a one-day contest with usually 6-8 rounds, with no fly-off rounds. 2) We restrict which direction one can land for safety. Here are a couple website links that are useful. The second link contains a complete rules explanation. “What is F5J RC glider competition? Rules explained for new entrants” “F5J Contesting-USA-The latest F5J contest and resources”