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U.S. Drone War's

First Annual Multi Rotor Challenge


Multirotor models are one of the fastest growing segments of the RC model hobby right now. These fascinating aircraft combine the flight characteristics of both aircraft and helicopters, and provide a unique challenge to both airplane and helicopter pilots.

The First Annual Multirotor Challenge is designed to bring together modelers from all over the country and provide an opportunity to share technology, show off their aircraft, and earn the bragging rights from winning one of the many organized contest events. Be sure to join us March 23rd and 24th, 2014 for a great gathering of Multirotor models!

The Multirotor Challenge will consist of several events in one, all at the same time to give people an opportunity to see all fun things that Multirotors have to offer. First we will have just general sport flying at the west end of the flying field. This area will be set aside for people that simply want to fly their models, take pictures or videos, or show others what their machine is capable of. At the east end of the field we will have product demos from various manufacturers part of the day and competition events during other times. Our testing facility has an area at the southwest corner of the property that is usually dedicated to helicopter flying. This area will be set aside for pilots that want to do test flights with their models, away from everyone else, so they can be away from the rest of the pilots and concentrate on repairs of setting up their multirotors.

We currently have several events planned for the Multirotor Challenge. Here is a brief rundown of the events that are currently planned. For complete contest rules, with all of the specifications, please see the link at the bottom of this paragraph.

1. Lifting Competitions:
There will be two categories of multirotor lifting, Dead Lift and Controlled Lift.

In the Dead Lift competition: your multirotor will lift as much weight as possible up from the ground to a height of at least 5 feet, to get the machine out of ground effect, and then hold the weight for a minimum of 10 seconds, and then set the model back down in a controlled landing.

In the Controlled Lift competition: your multirotor will have to lift off from a starting pad, and then fly a figure 8 pattern around two poles set 30 feet apart, and then come back and do a controlled landing on the starting pad.

In both lifting competitions, battery weight counts as payload. There will be 4 awards given out in this competition, two in each category. The first award will be for highest overall weight lifted, regardless of aircraft size or weight. The second award will be for the highest weight lifted as a function of the weight of the aircraft. In this category any size machine can win. For example a 2 pound model that can lift 4 pounds would beat a 20 pound model that can pick up 35 pounds, because the smaller one has a payload to machine ratio of 2.00 and the larger machine has a payload to weight ratio of 1.75.

2. Pylon Racing Competitions:
This should be a fun one! We will set up a course with two poles set 100 feet apart, with a start/finish line halfway between the two. The Multirotors will line up on the start/finish line and given a chance to spool up the motor to idle condition. Once all the props are spinning and everyone is ready, the horn will sound and the race will start. The multirotors will take off from the ground and fly 10 laps in a counter-clockwise fashion, turning left around each pylon. Depending on the number of participants in the races, we may have 2, 3 or 4 models flying at a time. Points will be awarded per heat with 4 points for 1st place, 3 points for 2nd place, 2 points for 3rd place and 1 point for 4th place. We will have turn judges at each end of the course, and if you cut a pylon, you will have to fly an extra penalty lap. Two pylon cuts in the same race will result in disqualification from the heat.

There will be two categories for the pylon racing portion of the event, Stock and Unlimited classes.

Stock Class: This class will be for basic smaller Multirotor models with a frame size of 500mm or less, measured from the motor shaft on one arm to the motor shaft of the arm directly opposite. In the case of a tri-copter, the distance from the center of the craft to the center of any motor shall not exceed 250mm. The machine can be a Tri-copter, Y6, Quad-copter or Hex-copter design with no more than 6 motors and propellers. Motor size will be limited to production models with no greater than a 22mm x 17mm stator, and a Kv value of 1200 or less. Any size props may be used, but the pitch will be limited to no more than 5 inches. All motors must be attached to the arms and no “tilt-rotor” type motors will be allowed. The only exception to this will be in the case of a tri-copter, one arm may pivot, but only for the purpose of normal yaw control.

Unlimited Class: In this class, anything goes, with a few minor exceptions, as long as it is deemed safe to fly by the contest director. There will be no limit on motor size, prop size or pitch or number of motors. Since this is a multirotor event, tilt rotor aircraft like the V-22 Osprey will not be allowed. All motors must be firmly attached to the arms of the craft pointing in the conventional direction. The only exception to this will be that one motor can rotate on an arm in a machine with an odd number of motors, but only for the purpose of maintaining normal yaw control of the model. To keep things safe in this event, there will be a maximum takeoff weight of 10 pounds, including batteries, in the Unlimited Class.

There will be a total 4 awards given out, two in each of the categories, one for highest overall point total for the event, and another for the fastest heat race time for the event.

3. Obstacle Course Competition:
In this event, we will set up a course with a series of limbo poles to go over or under, gates to go through and poles to circle around. Obviously, smaller, more maneuverable machines will have an advantage here. Each contestant will start from a takeoff pad and be given the opportunity to spool up their motors to idle before the race starts. This is to eliminate any variations in start-up time from various flight controller boards. Once the horn sounds, the pilot will fly through the course, as described by the contest director, and then land on a specified landing pad at the end of the course. Time will be counted from the moment the horn sounds until the craft touches down on the landing pad at the end of the course. The pilot will be allowed to walk along with their model outside of the course to be able to judge the clearance of each of the obstacles. Fastest time will win the event. If time permits, we may have the top 3 or 4 contestants get an opportunity try to beat their original time in a fly-off.

There will be one award given for this competition.

4. Autonomous Spot Landing Competition:
Since a lot of different flight controller boards now offer a “Return to Home” feature, why not put it to the test! Models will be taken out to a take off pad with the landing gear set at the center. The machine will be flown up and away from the take-off pad to a location specified by the contest director, and then the “Return Home” feature will be activated. The pilot will maintain control of the transmitter, but no input commands may be given until the craft safely touches down. The accuracy of the landing will be determined by the distance from the landing gear leg that started in the center of the take-off pad to the actual center of the pad after landing. Whoever gets back closest to the center of the take-off pad wins! Depending on the number of entries, and if time permits, we may fly more than one round in this event.

There will be one award given for this competition to whoever has the closest landing back to the original takeoff point.









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