Pylon racing is alive and well at Bell Air Flyers! I myself have not yet tried this exciting aspect of R/C Plane Racing but I know I’ll give it a shot at the first opportunity (which loosely translated means getting the wife to let me get another airplane!)
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Pylon Racing Guidelines
Pylon Racing Classes and Rules
We have been pylon racing for quite a few years now, at least six, probably more. This is a fun event open to all skill levels. The .15 engine limit keeps the airplanes at a reasonable speed and allows us to race closer in as per AMA rules.
We race with 2 pylons set out in the grass overfly area, 10 laps, usually with 3 planes but sometimes 4 to fill out the matrix. Cutting a pylon puts you one lap down so the trick is not to cut. You can fly as high or as low as you want. Every one is here to help and have a good time so please don’t feel like your not “good enough” to fly pylon.
All pilots and spotters must wear OSHA approved helmets. Home Depot sells construction helmets costing between 6 and 10 dollars. The club has 3 extra helmets for those who forget or just want to try it out. We had 15 racers last year so please come out and give it a try.
This year we will be racing on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday evening during the months of May, June, July and August. (18:00 to 20:30 Each Night…)
Championships will be held on a Saturday in Sept. Date to be announced.
T- 6 Class
This is a stock class.
1/12 scale T-6. All of us use House of Balsa kit, ARF or scratch built from House of Balsa plans. There are some electric ARF’s out there that I’m sure could be converted. Minor modifications to the kit such as removing the washout from the wings is OK. No clipped wings, shortened fuselage, etc allowed. Must have wheels and takeoff from ground.
All engines must be OS .15 LA (plain bearing engine), Master airscrew 8-4 prop, 15% nitro. No engine modifications except an airscoop on the carb is allowed.
Unlimited “Warbird” Class
This class allows some modifications.
1/12 scale piston powered military aircraft. Most of us are using Great Planes ARFs of WWII fighters but if you can find or build something like a T-28 or A-1 Skyraider that is OK.
Kit or scratch built is of course OK. House of Balsa has quite a few 1/12 scale kits available on their web site (www.house of balsa .com).
Minor modifications as in T-6 class allowed. Again, no clipped wings, etc.
We strongly prefer wheels and taking off from ground but hand launch with no wheels will be allowed if this is your first year racing. So if you have a hand launch ARF, bring it out.
Engines must be .15 standard production manufactured by OS, Magnum, Fox, etc.
Props must be 8-3 or 8-4 of any brand.
Fuel must be 15% nitro.
No engine modifications other than an air scoop on the carb.
An electric class is in the works for this summers racing. This will be discussed at the meetings and the rules posted as soon they are agreed upon.
We are trying to keep this simple and cheap so anyone can participate.
R/C Pylon Racing Information On The Web
NMPRA and Pylon Racing History
The urge to race dates back to early civilization with foot and chariot races held during Greek and Roman periods. The risk, excitement and challenge of racing are basic to human nature. Presently, we enjoy races involving boats, automobiles, horses and even turtles.
Races involving aircraft began shortly after the advent of powered flight and soon started in the field of model aviation – first with rubber-powered free-flight planes and later with control line team and rat race events. The ability to precisely control a model in three dimensions provided the Impetus of R/C Pylon Racing, as we know it today. In fact, the first suggestion of R/C Pylon Racing was made at the 1948 Nationals at Olathe, Kansas. The initial rules were presented to AMA R/C Committee in 1956. The first AMA Pylon event was flown in 1957 and won by Howard Bonner with a semi-scale Bonzo. Two years later a finalized version of rules was adopted by the AMA, and R/C pylon racing was born!
Early pylon racing was flown around a two-pylon course with the pilot standing in the middle. The winner was determined by the plane posting the shortest elapsed time; which would be calculated to the highest speed. There were no aircraft design specifications and the low drag flying wing or delta models dominated the event. In the mid-sixties there was a strong feeling to race scale type aircraft simultaneously over a triangular shaped course similar to full size Goodyear Model Racers flown in the late forties. Originally flown as an Exhibition Event at the 1965 and 1966 Nationals, the “Goodyear” model event became Official at the 1967 Nats in Los Angeles. It soon became very popular and current R/C Pylon Racing has developed into three classes or events that are separated by aircraft requirements, engine specifications, and fuel restrictions and course length.
The three AMA R/C Pylon Racing events are Quarter Midget, Quickie 500 and 1/2-A with the Specific rules for each printed in the AMA Official Model Aircraft Regulation book. Quickie 500 is a popular variation of Sport Pylon and has largely replaced this event. Quarter Midget retains the scale-like aircraft requirement.
Look here for more information and good articles on the NMPRA and Pylon Racing.
How To Go Faster ?
The speed demons amongst us will appreciate the information provided here!