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Entry into RC Scale

What is RC Scale?

The “RC” bit refers to Radio Control. This means that RC Scale is not to be confused with Free Flight Scale and it is not the same as RC Scale Aerobatics, sometimes known as IMAC. (See information provided by these SIGS for details on these disciplines). The “scale” bit refers to models that represent, as well as they can, a recognisable full-size aircraft, in looks and how they fly. A foam ARF model is fine, but some RC Scale fliers also prefer to build their own models of full-size aircraft.

RC Scale does not include helicopters. There is a different SIG for these.

The RC Scale SIG (Special Interest Group) looks after RC Scale in NZ and supports scale rallies as well as competitions.

What to do about competitions

The best way to get into RC Scale competition is to practice flying manoeuvres at your club.

Talk to other modellers about flying different types of scale models and what this entails; for example a biplane has different handling characteristics to a monoplane, a tail-dragger requires different techniques for take-offs and landings to a tri-cart aircraft etc.

Look at the manoeuvres that are posted on the MFNZ website – under Scale – FAI Scale Rules (starting at page 43):

Scale Rules
Here you will see each major manoeuvre shown in diagram form and what to watch out for when flying the manoeuvre.

Practice flying as many of these manoeuvres as you can. Choose the ones that best suit your model. For example, if you have an aerobatic model, like a Stearman or an Extra, then try aerobatic manoeuvres, such as stall turns, Cuban Eights etc. If you have a non-aerobatic model, like a DC3 or Percival Gull, then try non-aerobatic manouvres that best suit the ones most likely to have been flown by the full-size aircraft.

Enter a competition. There are North Island and South Island RC Scale competitions and also Nationals. This is where you get to learn so much about RC Scale by talking to people who are willing to share their experience and knowledge.


Flying versus Static

There is a lot of confusion about what you have to do at competitions. Most of this confusion has come from people who have never flown at competitions. The simplest explanation is to say that there are 3 main categories at an RC Scale:

             CLASSIC SCALE
             SPORTSMAN   a. Advanced
                                   b. Novice
            (NB.  This format was simplified in 2010 after the RC Scale SIG’s AGM)

All categories involve the competitor flying 10 manoeuvres in front of two or three judges who score each manoeuvre out of 10 points (see the Flight Score Sheet on the Scale page of the MFNZ website). You have 5 given manoeuvres and 5 that you may choose yourself.

There is NO Static judging of your model at Sportsman level!

As RC Scale also fosters the building of scale model aircraft, the other two categories – Classic and F4C, having static judging of your model by the judges, in addition to your flying. For this, you need to supply documentation on your aircraft. For Classic Scale, this is only one page (see the Classic Scale rules on the MFNZ website). For F4C the  documentation is more involved. You need to speak to an experienced modeler about this. You also have to be the builder of the model to fly in F4C.

Check out the RC SCALE VIDEO

Scale Classes for 2008 and beyond

Sportsman / ARF Scale Rules
The current Sportsman rules apply with the addition of:

  1. The model was acquired in a substantially completed state, including the surface finish, and required only assembly. The model is either a recognised ARF or a model built by another person.
  2. A contestant may make multiple entries, at the discretion of the CD. (This rule is to promote more entries while also allowing the CD to limit them if/when numbers require this.)
  3. The weight of the model is limited only by the maximum allowed by NZMAA, subject to any relevant certification requirement. (This rule is not really new – it clarifies the current Sportsman weight provision.)

Classic Scale Rules

  1. The entrant must be the builder of the model but prefabricated and composite kits may be used without penalty. Models purchased with surface finish applied (ARF) are not eligible.( If they have been recovered and refinished by the builder, then they are eligible)
  2. A contestant may make multiple entries, at the discretion of the CD.
  3. The weight of the model is limited only by the maximum allowed by NZMAA, subject to any relevant certification requirement.
  4. F4C flying rules are applied. Flight Points account for approximately 75% of the maximum total points.

(Theoretical Flying points available = 3000)

Scale Appearance Points account for approximately 25% of the maximum Total Points. (Theoretical Static points available = 1000)

Documentation for Scale Appearance judging is mounted on one folded A3 sheet and comprises:< >Photographs, which are the primary reference for judging scale outlines and shapes. Provision of a scale drawing is optional.

Evidence of colours and markings, that may be include any or all of: photographs, colour drawings, colour chips, and written descriptions.For an example of Typical documentation click here.

One or more judges may be appointed to award Scale Appearance Points. If there is more than one judge, points are awarded by consensus.

 Scale Appearance Points Allocation (for Score Sheet)
Front View =  100 points
Side View =  100 points
Plan View =  100 points
Colour     =  100 points
Markings = 100 points
Craftsmanship = 500 points

Classic Team Scale Rules

The Classic Scale rules apply, with the additional rule that entries are made by a team comprising the flyer and the builder of the model, who must be present.
F4C Scale Rules
The current F4C rules apply, with the additional rule that the weight of the model is limited only by the maximum allowed by NZMAA, subject to any relevant certification requirement, except for World Championship team trials and any specified international events that require F4C weight limits.
(The purpose of this weight relaxation is to encourage more entries.)