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
New Gate Combinations for 2018 Season
In a doppelganger gate setup, the pilot enters a gate after a straightaway pulls an Immelmann and dives through a second gate directly behind the first. The setup can be followed immediately by a 90 degree turn to simulate a “rollercoaster” effect. Use a doppelganger gate encourage high speed passes and altitude control.Set up: The second gate should be a large gate and should be well marked The first gate should be entered after a straightaway and not exiting a turn Separation distance should follow the equation: Gate spacing (in feet) = intended track speed (in mph) X 50 Second gate size should be: 15-20’ Wide X 8-10’ tall for moderate speed planes or where throttle management is to be encouraged 25-35’ Wide X 12-15’ tall for high speed performance airplanes
The half- corkscrew combines the doppelganger with a high altitude turn. The pilot enters the first gate and pulls an Immelmann maneuver but then must make a 90 degree course change to dive through the second gate. The spacing between the gates can be used as an equalizer between planes with a variety of speeds and power systems such as in open class racing. The first gate does not need a long straightaway before entering like the doppelgangerSet up: The distance between gates should follow these equations: Easier courses: Spacing (in feet) = Track speed (in mph)* 50 Stagger (in feet) = Track speed (in mph) * 20 Challenging courses: Spacing (in feet) = Track speed (in mph)* 35 Stagger (in feet) = Track speed (in mph) * 25
A in a corkscrew gate, two gates or a gate and pair of flags are placed side by side. The pilot enters between the flags (or through a gate) and then makes a corkscrew maneuver to enter the second gate going in the same direction. The corkscrew gate is a great equalizer for open class racing where planes with a wide range of speeds will be present. The second gate should be the same size or larger than the first gate.
A needle gate is a pair of gates where two gates are placed so that they are staggered encouraging pilots to chicane or corkscrew through them in the same direction. This can be set up in a multitude of ways to encourage different flying techniques. A flag may be placed before the first gate to force pilots to go through the gate straight. However, advanced tracks can allow the first gate as part of a turn which encourages hitting the gates diagonally and significantly closes the aperture of the second gate.If a flag is used to force pilots to hit the first gate straight-on: The stagger of the gates should not exceed ½ the distance between them in the direction of travel. Distance between the gates should follow the equation: Spacing Distance (in feet) = track speed * 2.5 If the gate is to be used as part of a turn: Stagger distance (in feet) = track speed (in mph) * 3 Spacing distance should be 0.5 – 1.1 X the stagger distance
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.