Pilots shall be placed in a location where they are protected from off-course aircraft and in a location where a standard directional antenna on the receiver may cover the racetrack. Pilots shall not be placed in the middle of a race course unless no more than 4 airplanes are racing at once and the location is well protected. Pilots will be located away from the track so as to prevent RF interference from other passing aircraft.
Ideally, pilots will be located in a far corner or long end of the track where no plane shall be pointed in their direction unless it is at the opposite end of the racetrack. Pilot distance from the racetrack shall be in the following ratios:
2-5 racers – 6 : 1 6-8 racers: 4 : 1 9+ racers: 3 : 1
This ratio is the distance the track is long compared to how far away from the track the pilots are stationed. Thus, for an 8 person race on a 500 foot long track, the pilots should be 125 feet back from the closest point on the track.For a 9+ pilot race, the IBC16 system shall be implemented
A standard 3 to 5 turn chicane will follow the below equation for a straight chicane (no stagger): Distance between flags = 25 + 2X anticipated speed. Thus for a 50 mph course, the flags shall be 125 feet apart.
A staggered chicane shall follow the below equation for a staggered chicane: Spacing: 50 + 2X speed (in mph) = spacing in feet Stagger = 0.5 * speed = stagger
Thus for 100mph, flags shall be 250 feet apart with a 50 foot stagger.
For a 5-8 maneuver chicane, flag spacing shall be as follows:
Straight – distance = 2.5X expected speed
Staggered – distance = 2.5X expected speed with a stagger of 0.25* expected speed.
Carousel (270+ degree turn)
Carousels shall be used to break up consistent turns in the same direction (ie constant left hand turns), slow down excessive speed, and to turn the aircraft away from spectator positions. Back to back carousels should be considered advanced maneuvers and should only be incorporated on advanced level courses.
Where to use:
- Make entering a maneuver such as a chicane more difficult (advanced courses)
- Slow down the advancement toward the crowd (at the end of a straight-away)
- Substitute for an opposite banked turn (a 270 right as opposed to a 90 degree left)
- Exiting a chicane
Where not to use:
- Beginner or entry level courses entering a difficult maneuver such as a chicane or Immelmann
- Where the aircraft might turn toward the spectators or pilots
Immelmann maneuvers create dual traffic lanes and are excellent crowd pleasers. The placement of the Immelmann maneuvers should be considered carefully as poor entry into the maneuver by pilots will cause the aircraft to go off-course and should always be pointed away from the pilots and spectators. The best placement for an Immelmann is immediately after a gate. For easier courses, a straight-away should be provided before entering the maneuver to allow the planes to straighten out. The spectators should never be placed at the beginning of an Immelmann maneuver unless there is a barricade or fence provide to protect them.
Where to use:
- Immediately after a race gate
- Any place where an abrupt change of direction is required
- Courses requiring a high level of pilot skill
Where not to use:
- Any place where the aircraft if not level in the maneuver would steer toward spectators
- Where minimal altitude is required by the area or course design
- Courses designed for entry-level pilots
Power Loop/half loop (high speed loops):
High speed loops of power loops are used to slow the progression of aircraft and bring competitors closer together. Half loops such as entering inverted and pulling up elevator shall be used only in advanced level courses and should not be used as entry to a gate unless sufficient space is provided for the pilot to retain control of the aircraft. The minimum distance shall be 2 * top speed in mph = distance in feet to gate.
Tightening radius loop:
In this maneuver, the pilot exits the loop at a higher altitude than when entering. These maneuvers are to be placed immediately after a low altitude gate. The pilot enters the loop underneath a gate and exits above the top of the gate. This is to be used ONLY in advanced level tracks.
Standard radius loops:
In this maneuver, a pilot will exit a loop at approximately the same altitude as they entered the maneuver. These may be place anywhere around the track and are useful for breaking up high speed straight-aways. These maneuvers should be entered between a pair of flags.
The switch back turn is a high speed 180 degree turn marked by a flag or a gate. The switchback may be used back to back to slow the progression for aircraft and to bring aircraft closer together for spectators or may be used after an Immelmann maneuver. A switch-back turn should never be exited where an aircraft would exit the maneuver toward the spectators unless sufficient distance ( 3 seconds or more at full speed) is provided without a net or other protection.
Where to use:
- At the end of a straight-away
- After an Immelmann maneuver such that the aircraft have sufficient time to recover from the Immelmann
- In a “zig-zag format” where the crowd can see multiple aircraft in a tight formation
Where not to use:
- Where exiting such maneuver will aim the aircraft toward spectators
Gates are typically advanced level obstacles and help to reduce the altitude of aircraft in a race. Gates should be located after a straight-away and ONLY should be used in a turn in highly advanced courses. For advanced courses, gates may be placed at the end or beginning of a chicane to force pilots to maintain lower altitudes. For easier courses, gates should only be placed at the end of a long straight-away. Gates placed in the middle of a turn shall ONLY be used in a long, sweeping turn where pilots can see the gate while the airplane is in the maneuver. Cones or other markers shall be used to help pilots line up for the gate.
Minimum gate distance from the last obstacle should follow the equation:
Minimum distance in feet = 2.25 X intended track speed (in mph)
- A standard spec gate is a half-loop 26.5 feet in length with the anchor points 15 feet apart. This size is ideal for aircraft under 60mph.
- A large race gate should be 25 feet across and 15 feet tall. This gate may be arched or square. This size is ideal for aircraft between 60 and 100mph.