- Description of Scale Operations for Maneuver Combinations
and extended gear used in Takeoff, Landings, and dirty fly bys. For optimum
score, retraction should commence during the takeoff maneuver when the model establishes a
positive rate of climb. Retraction speed and sequence should reflect that of the prototype
to include sequencing gear doors. Models of aircraft with retractable tail wheels should
be downgraded if the tail wheel does not retract. Landing gear should be extended on
either the inspection pass or on the downwind leg of the landing sequence.
- Flap Operation used in Takeoff, Landings, and dirty fly bys. For optimum score,
flaps should be lowered 1/3rd on the base leg of the traffic pattern and to
full position on final approach. The contestant may elect not to use flaps for takeoff but
must inform the judges before the flight. Otherwise, the judges will expect to see some
amount of lowered flaps during takeoff by default and downgrade accordingly. There should
be no loss of points if the judges fail to see flap movement during flight but should
expect to see them deployed at the specified times. If they are small in size and
difficult to observe in a lowered position, the judges may request that they be lowered in
a taxi maneuver prior to takeoff or after landing.
- Bomb Drop used with evasive maneuver such as zoom climb, or chandelle, etc. Bombs
should be carried in the same manner as the prototype. For bombs carried internally, bomb
bay doors should open, bombs should drop and then doors should close for maximum score. If
bombs are carried externally they should be securely attached with no noticeable
oscillation in the slipstream. Unusual bombing techniques may be used if the contestant
can verify them with written documentation and cleared with the Contest Director before
the flight. With the exception of napalm types, bombs should not tumble end-over-end after
release. A contestant is permitted to substitute a different bomb or bombs for the flight
other than those used during static judging. For maximum score, the bomb(s) should contact
the ground on the judges' centerline or within 3 feet on either side of judges'
- Torpedo Drop used in conjunction with evasive maneuver such as chandelle, zoom
climb, etc. This should be performed in level flight and at low altitude to enable the
torpedo to strike the ground in a relatively flat attitude. For an externally mounted
torpedo, it should be securely attached with no noticeable oscillation in the slipstream.
For torpedoes carried internally, torpedo bay doors should open, torpedo should drop and
then doors should close for maximum score.
- Tank Drop used with a turning maneuver such as 90-degree turn, half-Cuban eight,
etc. A fuel tank capable of being jettisoned should be carried in the same manner of the
full size prototype. The drop should be performed with the model in level flight and
released on the judges' centerline. The tank(s) should be securely attached with no
noticeable oscillation in the slipstream.
- Parachute Drop used with a turning maneuver such as a procedure turn. A parachute
drop or ejection should be performed in the scalelike manner of the full size prototype.
Cargo should be dropped via doors, hatch, bomb bay, or from wing hardpoints. A man or men
should be dropped via doors, hatch (if the aircraft was so equipped), or by inverting the
model if this was the prototypical method of egress. A single seat aircraft must not drop
its pilot. A braking parachute may be deployed on landing if this was a feature of the
- Agricultural Spraying or Dusting used with an evasive
climb-out such as a zoom climb
or chandelle. The contestant should be prepared to document that the prototype aircraft
was used for this purpose. Since the manner in which this operation was performed by full
scale aircraft may differ according to aircraft type and/or crop being dusted, the
contestant should describe to the judges before the flight, his intended presentation.
Generally the aircraft will make a low pass down the maneuvering line and visibly perform
its spraying or dusting mission on command by the contestant. An emergency dump of the
hopper contents may be performed and may be accompanied by a rapid climb to simulate
avoidance of an obstacle. The maneuver should be performed with wings level during the
- Other Optional Demonstrations may be performed by a contestant provided the maneuver
combination is typical of the full size prototype. Maneuver combination must be
cleared beforehand by the Contest Director and explained to the Flight Judges before the
LIST OF MANDATORY MANEUVERS
The contestant must perform 5 mandatory maneuvers and 5 optional maneuvers. They
can be presented in any order except Flight Realism, which will be scored at the end of
1. Take Off (Click to
What Judges Are To Inspect For:
? Straight and down the centerline roll out (see exception for "tail skid"
? Gentle lift off, wings level, tracking straight
? Observe mechanical operations, i.e. retracts, gear door sequencing, flaps (Overall
? Gentle climb out, tracking straight, wings level, to 30 feet altitude
1.1. The takeoff maneuver shall be scored after heading position is initially
established near the centerline of the active runway with a brief hesitation. (Exception:
When safely possible, tail skid aircraft can establish a heading more into the wind so the
judges need to establish an imaginary centerline based on the initial path started at
takeoff). This new established heading shall not be directed toward the judges or
deadline. A full stop may be made, but is not required. The contestant must
announce that "takeoff maneuver is starting now" prior to starting the takeoff
roll. For optimum scoring, the roll must be parallel and in close proximity to centerline
of the runway. The roll distance and tracking prior to liftoff should be realistic to that
scale distance modeled of the full size aircraft (runway permitting). During climb out,
the wings should remain reasonably level with original heading maintained. The take-off
optimum heading and prototypical ascent angle should be maintained to an elevation of at
least 30 feet to complete the maneuver prior to making the initial turn away from the
flight line. If the aircraft prototypical design has retractable gear, they should be
initiated in operation cycle sufficiently soon after lift off to allow completion (or near
completion) of that cycle prior to initial turn away from the flight line for optimum
"Continuity" score in Overall Flight Realism. If they fail to retract thereafter
in flight, a severe downgrade will apply to Overall Flight Realism "Options" and
"Continuity". Flaps and slats (if applicable) may be used during the takeoff
maneuver, but are not required for most available runway lengths. Retracts, flaps or slats
shall not dilute any of the scoring contents for pilot Precision, Placement, and Realism
2. Figure Eight (Click
to see graphically)
What Judges Are To Inspect For:
? Maneuver called at 45 degrees from Judges Centerline (left or right of judges)
? Bank angle typical of full size aircraft at speed
? Crossover point on Judges Centerline (directly in front of Judges)
? Crossover point at same altitude
? Symmetry same, left circle same size/diameter as right circle
? Exit altitude same as entry altitude
2.1. The mandatory figure eight will be centered in front of the judges as described in
the AMA rules. Perhaps more than any other maneuver, it best reveals how well the pilot
can position and control the aircraft with a prototypical attitude and Precision over a
large horizontal area in various conditions. The prototypical bank angle used during the
figure eight is anticipated to vary in windy conditions to maintain a figure eight pattern
with respect to the ground and judges.
Straight Fly Past (Click to see
What Judges Are To Inspect For:
? Direction is same as take off (into the wind)
? Altitude between 10 and 20 feet
? Heading is straight and tracks down the maneuvering line
? Maintains constant altitude
? Equal distance on Judges Centerline, 150 feet to left and 150 feet to
3.1. The mandatory 10 to 20 foot elevation fly-past will be centered in front of the
judges and located parallel to the "defined runway" width. Direction will be the
same as designated takeoff unless otherwise specified by the CD. Downgrading will also
start occurring if the maneuver is too far out beyond 100 feet from the far side of the
runway, or in closer than the far side of the defined runway edge as optimally described
for various aircraft described in Placement scoring content of maneuvers. Elevation and
horizontal Placement of this literally "straight-forward" maneuver is therefore
essential for maximum points. Downgrading is proportional to severity of poor Placement or
the inability to maintain a straight and level flight within the desired elevation of 10
to 20 feet for at least 300 feet (not 5 seconds as AMA describes). This maneuver
determines how well the contestant can position and fly the aircraft accordingly.
Allowances shall be made for slower lightweight vintage types of aircraft for slight
corrections in gusty wind conditions. No scale operations shall dilute the scoring content
expected for piloting Precision, Placement or Realism in this mandatory Fly-Past maneuver.
Approach And Landing (Click to see
What Judges Are To Inspect For:
? Pilot calls maneuver when turning to final
? Observe mechanical operations, i.e., slats, retracts, full flaps on final (Overall
? Wings level, gentle glide angle, tracks on runway centerline
? Smooth flare, gentle contact with ground, minimal porposing
? Straight roll out down runway centerline (see exception for "tail skid"
? Slows to taxi speed before turning
4.1. The landing maneuver will be scored from the time the aircraft enters the final
approach to landing, or at the end of an optional Traffic Pattern or Side Slip approach
preceding it. In these latter cases, it will start as the model begins to flare. Immediate
judging considerations will include optimum alignment to "center line" of the
runway and constant rate of descent and flare to touchdown. The optimum point of landing
touchdown shall be determined by runway length to permit the necessary safe roll out of
the type of aircraft flown. Therefore positioning for touchdown in front of the judges is
not required unless selecting the option of "Spot landing" listed separately
4.2. For optimum scoring of any landing, the roll out must be parallel and in close
proximity to the centerline of the runway. Tail skid aircraft are anticipated to
experience visible corrections for crosswinds. Slower vintages such as WW-1 are also
permitted a flare and touchdown that may be directed more into the wind after an aligned
approach with the runway if their speed and momentum in roll out do not produce a safety
hazard or deadline infraction". All other Placement criteria apply. Bounces or
deviations in described optimum roll out alignment will be downgraded depending on
severity of applicable skill contents. Uncontrolled premature turns will similarly be
downgraded, and nose-overs will be severely downgraded, or lesser amount if "vintage
prototypical". Complete nose-overs onto the back will score zero for skill
(Precision) and Realism content features (Placement may still be scored). A touchdown or
roll out into any area outside of the defined runway will only be downgraded depending on
severity on all skill contents, or scored entirely zero for the maneuver on a dead
line infraction. Such downgrades will not be given for short runway
facilities where roll out carries the aircraft beyond the end of the runway and touchdown
and roll out commenced in the first half of the runway. If the aircraft touches down in
the latter half of the available runway and then rolls off the defined runway, all
applicable contents will be downgraded accordingly. As stated in "Maneuver Scoring
Content", skill-related Precision and Placement may be combined in scoring emphasis
for this Placement-critical maneuver. The judging of roll out and overall landing maneuver
is not complete until the aircraft has sufficiently slowed to permit a safe controlled
taxi from the active portion of the runway.
4.3. Scale operational features affecting landing can be complex in many example
aircraft (for past as well as present scoring methods). Some of them have already been
described as part of Overall Flight Realism, but others may be new. These judging
considerations are as follows:
4.3.1. If flaps, slats, and/or retracts are prototypical features of the aircraft, they
must be properly deployed prior to landing for optimum "Overall Flight Realism"
4.3.2. Flaps, slats, and retracts will not dilute the scoring content expected for
landing. Wheel brakes may be used within or after the landing maneuver, but will also be
primarily judged in "Overall Flight Realism" or the optional "Taxi with
brakes" maneuver combination for optimum judging.
4.4. If a landing gear failure occurs due to inadequate pilot Precision or Realism in
"flare", the landing will be downgraded accordingly. If a "belly
landing" is performed skillfully with a smooth touchdown and accurate Placement after
a gear malfunction during or prior to deployment, the landing may still be scored
"optimally" in all of its content features, but not in Overall Flight Realism.
As described previously, the scale operation "Option Precision" or
"Continuity" content for gear, flaps, and slats is in Overall Flight Realism and
are not a content element to the landing maneuver. (NOTE: Calling an emergency landing
will help alert the judges to score the landing accordingly, but it will not save optimum
points for Overall Flight Realism score.)
4.5. Scale operation of a drogue chute (or chutes) deployed in a timely and realistic
manner during the landing roll out shall be scored as a "maneuver combination".
This maneuver combination of "landing with drogue chute" will partially dilute
Precision content in piloting skill with an accompanying scale operation feature described
in "Maneuver Scoring Content".
4.6. Inclusion of a drogue chute (or chutes) for optimizing Overall Flight Realism
"Options" in the landing maneuver will be dictated by prototypical roll out and
the "scale-length runway" facilities available. No downgrade in score will occur
for not selecting the drogue chute option, if well placed landings can be executed on
longer runway facilities. The incentive for the use of drogue chute(s) in modeling will
therefore be the same as that in full scale.
What Judges Are To Inspect For:
? Model performs smooth transitions through each axis roll, pitch, and yaw,
consistently throughout the entire flight (including in between maneuvers)
? Bank angles consistent with full size aircraft
? G-loading consistent with full size aircraft
? Management of power appropriate with performed maneuvers
? Chosen maneuvers consistent with full size aircraft's capabilities
The Overall Flight Realism score will be an objective summary in answering three
fundamental questions with accompanying descriptions as outlined in the following:
5.1. Continuity of Flight (2.5 pts.): Has the pilot demonstrated they can
perform with realistic continuity, from the moment the "show starts" as the
aircraft taxis out to the time it taxis back?
5.1.1. This shall primarily include how well the aircraft maintains a general realistic
appearance on the ground and in the air before, between, or after selected maneuvers.
Continuity includes taxi, airborne turnarounds, altitude, smoothness or stability; etc.
except when such features are included in defined listed options such as Taxi, Traffic
Pattern, Procedure Turn, etc. It also includes takeoff and landing if not listed as part
of scored options as ruled by the CD. When any maneuver option listed for score is
started, the applicable deduction(s) will apply to that specific maneuver-realism content
and not the Overall Flight Realism "continuity". (NOTE: Any poor Realism
achieved from flaps, slats, or retracts due to poor timing of use will be deducted in
Overall Flight Realism for poor continuity, except when used for the optional scored
"maneuver combination" of Slow Speed Inspection Pass.)
5.1.2. Trim passes are permitted without deduction to continuity.
If the aircraft design
and vintage permits, it should taxi to and from the runway under its own power for optimum
consideration in scoring the basic continuity to overall Flight Realism. Exceptions will
be granted for aircraft with conventional gear and tail skids or float planes with
removable "dollies" as described in AMA rules (AMA Guide, rule 5.5.d, page 139),
if they remain under power from time of initial transport to the runway through the final
5.1.4. Taxi anomalies to and from the runway due to excessive wind are also accepted
without deduction to the continuity portion of Realism. These may include manually
correcting or carrying the aircraft to or from the runway after such wind conditions have
become evident to the flight judges or have been announced by the CD. If wind is not
a factor for skipping or avoiding an unassisted taxi for applicable aircraft or, if any
aircraft requires an engine restart after initially departing the immediate judging area,
then a 0.5 point deduction applies to flight Realism for the departure and again for a
repeat occurrence after landing and return. The clock will not be extended for engine
restarts. See "Time Limit and Official Delays" for exceptions caused by traffic.
5.2. Options Selected or Demonstrated (5.0 pts.): Have the notable prototypical
characteristic features of the aircraft been well selected and demonstrated for its
intended design mission by choice in Flight Maneuvers and complimenting Scale Operations?
5.2.1. The applicable scale operations of Retractable Gear, Flaps, and Slats shall
primarily be inspected in flight for demonstrating mechanical Precision in
form-fit-function of operation. This also includes the prototypical gear retraction,
secured stowage qualities, and realistic mechanical deployment prior to entering the
defined landing maneuver. If there is question of these qualities in flight that prevents
accurate scoring, Judge(s) may also request to see these features demonstrated on
the ground after the flight. This may also include inspection of other basic
control features of the full size to assure they are operable such as ailerons, elevator
and rudder when such prototypical features are also in question.
5.2.2. If a model does not have the notable characteristic design features of the
full-size (such as retracts or flaps) or, if they fail to operate when required in
realistic flight, a corresponding downgrade will be made to the Overall Flight Realism
Options such as a 4 to 5 point deduction.
5.2.3. If flaps, slats, and retracts are used with the Slow Speed Inspection Pass, this
maneuver shall also be scored for Precision for these scale operational content features
per "maneuver combinations".
5.2.4. For Flight Maneuvers, the contestant will need to be cautious in selecting high
performance maneuvers that may be uncharacteristic of a non-aerobatic or limited aerobatic
aircraft. Maneuvers that were not recognized as prototypical to the full size aircraft
will also negatively affect the "Overall Flight Realism" score. In effect, such
flagrant violations for Realism will have a double jeopardy associated with them.
5.2.5. In contrast to 5.2.4, selecting specific AMA defined simplified maneuvers (see
Section III, 3.3) when performed with aircraft capable of aerobatic or limited aerobatic
maneuvers will be counterproductive ONLY to the Overall Flight Realism score for Options.
Maneuvers classified by the AMA "just for non-aerobatic" aircraft will be judged
for all maneuver contents without downgrade. However, the Overall Flight Realism score
will be penalized with a further deduction of 1.0 point each if either of these two
maneuvers is optionally selected for other than a non-aerobatic aircraft. (So, contestants
beware! Select your flight options wisely to best reflect those prototypical of your
aircraft and its designed mission. Also see "Other Non-redundant Flight
5.2.6. Aircraft entrees that are indeed rated non-aerobatic must be declared as such by
the contestant during the preliminary briefing of the judges prior to each flight. Similar
to FAA practices, the U.S. Scale Masters considers an airplane non-aerobatic when it is
rated not to exceed 60 degree in bank angle and 30 degree in pitch angle.
5.3. Power Management (2.5 pts.): Has skill in throttle and power management
been demonstrated? Power variations are anticipated to fly an aircraft at moderate speeds
in interim flight for turnarounds compared to other fast or slow speeds applicable to the
maneuvers performed. Consider that many early vintage (WW1) aircraft were not throttleable
in the conventional sense. Also determine if an idle control (for all prototypical engine
arrangements) is adequate to permit a realistic, safe taxi and landing.
- Aerobatic aircraft should adequately reflect power capability in engine selection,
particularly when vertical maneuver options are performed. Scoring of throttle management
skill should be included in Overall Flight Realism. The AMA listed 85
- Error of not flying at "Scale-like speed" for flight Realism is defined within
this Guide in the Definitions section.
Overall Flight Realism Summary A quick summary for judging or
"policing" Overall Flight Realism can perhaps be remembered best as COP.
Continuity, Options, and Power management! Scoring will be 2.5, 5.0, and 2.5 points
respectively with Options having the greatest emphasis for potential deficiencies. Also
see "Flight Realism and Score Sheet Review" in this Guide.