The GBR/CAA is the specialist body appointed by the British Model Flying Association to organise precision aerobatic competitions (F3A & F3P) to the international rules of the FAI.
The British Model Flying Association are the official body appointed to manage aeromodelling activities by the Royal Aero Club of the United Kingdom who are responsible for all air sport in this country. The BMFA also represents the UK in the international forum through its recognition by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) and its model flying sub committee, Commission Internationale d’Aeromodelisme (CIAM).
A bit of history:
The Great Britain Radio Control Aerobatic Association was formed on the 2nd December 1978, to accommodate a need for competition. By October 1980 there was in access of 200 members. Kath and Terry Watson, Geoff Franklin, Sue Robinson was our first Secretary, and others involved organised some 45 competitions each year. There was a report from a domestic competition in the Doncaster area in the early eighties at which there were 60 competitors on two flight lines. Schedules were more simple then and only central manoeuvres were flown, the turn around or Aresti schedules was not adopted until later. Until 1996 there was a limit on engine size to10cc for two strokes or 20cc 4 strokes. Over the years new types of aerobatic competitions were formed, IMAC, Artistic Aerobatics, 3D Aerobatics and Fun Fly. Although these classes are all aerobatic competitions the GBR/CAA are the body who organise and encourage the classic type of Precision Aerobatics flown to the international rules of the Federation Aeronautic International. In 2006 there is no limit on the engine size but the model criteria of an airframe is that will fit into a 2 metre square box , and a weight limit of 5 kilos without fuel remains.
After over 25 years of the Association most members join to fly in the various ‘competitions’ around the country, but our Association cannot survive without: Scorers, Contest Directors, Judges, Team Managers, Secretaries, Callers, Helpers, Spectators, Scribes, League Table Managers, Technical Representatives and Supporters plus all the usual officers of such an organisation and of course the use of club flying fields. If you want to get close to precision aerobatics, you can without flying. Come and join us and support us, contact the secretary, and if you think you would like to get even more involved, just mention that to any member, your help will be appreciated.
The FAI schedule is the most difficult and flown at the World and European Championships and several other competitions around the globe. The GBR/CAA caters for all fliers interested in precision aerobatics by designing a series of schedules which can be flown by pilots of all abilities. Help existing pilots improve their flying in a structured way, and support our British Team.
There are five schedules or classes, and ‘domestic’ competitions cater from the raw beginner to the most proficient pilots amongst us. Whatever level we fly. We try to make competitions friendly affairs where we can all enjoy the trials and tribulations of our flying being judged with a keen and trained eye and where help and advice is always freely available.
The Clubman schedule is an entry level schedule which can be flown with almost any model that will do a loop and a roll. It is a schedule that can be flown by any club flyer and will allow you to enter a competition and get the feel of the proceedings. Reliability is essential with any model and no matter how reliable your set up is, a competition brings out all those gremlins just waiting for the day.
Intermediate schedule is the next set on the ladder and again it can be flown by most ‘aerobatic’ type models.
The Masters class is again a step more complicated, and by this time you will know that a model designed for the purpose of precision aerobatics is almost essential. This does not mean that you need to spend huge amounts of money on a top model, but the power required by some of the manoeuvres do demand a more specialised engine and airframe.
FAI schedule is for the top pilots and is split into three schedules. The ‘P’ is for preliminary rounds, the ‘F’ is more difficult for the finals schedule, and then there are the ‘Unknown’ schedules which are made up of manoeuvres chosen from the official FAI list of manoeuvres, by the competitors, after dark on the day before they are flown, no practice flights are allowed.
All manoeuvres are judged by at least two judges, each marking the manoeuvre out of ‘ten’, this mark is then multiplied by the K factor (1 to 5) which reflects the difficulty of the manoeuvre. The judges scores are then averaged. Generally at a domestic ‘competitions’ three flights are flown with the best two counting. Promotion to the next level is by achieving the ‘promotion score in two separate competitions over a period of 12 months. The promotion score is usually 60% of the maximum mark for that schedule. Your score sheet should be signed by the Contest Director and passed to the Association Secretary if you want to register your promotion. At the World Championships ten or more judges are used and the calculations to define a winner are more complicated.