Once again, the Free Flight National Championships will take place at RAF Barkston Heath over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend.
The BMFA Free Flight National Championships is the largest FF competition in Europe and surely the most diverse in the world. Pre-entry is vital with a meeting of this size so make sure yours is received before 15th May on the form available to download on the BMFA website (or call the BMFA office for a copy – telephone: 0116-2440028). This year pre-entry to the SAM 35 organised competition is included. Pre-entry, which assists the management of the event, is preferred but not compulsory for Sam 35 classes, however, late and field entry for the BMFA Free Flight and Space Modelling competitions will incur a 50% surcharge for each class.
Camping, if required, is booked using the same form, which also lists the competitions and classes taking place each day. On-the-day admission at the gate is £7 per day or £15 for the weekend.
Contest Entry and Camping fees are spread evenly for use of this wonderful venue and there is a £7 per day charge for sport flyers. This sport flying charge is for those who are not taking part in BMFA or SAM 35 events. However, this pass can be upgraded to a contest entry on the field.
The Free Flight National Championships programme of competitions is basically the same as for 2016. With Free Flight and Free Flight Scale, the Space Modelling National Championship and the SAM 35 Gala there is plenty for everyone.
The FAIR and SAM 35 competitions that permit the use of radio control will be the ONLY RC flying permitted during the Championships. RC practice flying is restricted to entrants in these contests and all must use 2.4 GHz radio.
The Space Modelling competitions are administered by FAIR, and comprise 6 classes, all to FAI international specifications, reflecting the spectrum of model rocketry from Scale to Boost Gliders, and including Duration, Payload and Altitude competitions. The overall Champion from these classes will win the Baikonur Cup.
Once again, we welcome SAM 35 to the FF Nationals. SAM 35 will be organising their own Gala within the FFNationals framework with classes to suit most Vintage tastes. Entry to these classes is via the official FF Nationals entry form. Further details of the SAM 35 classes, a detailed programme and the rules, can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org and www.sam35.org/rules
BMFA Competition Rules
The attention of entrants is drawn to the BMFA Free Flight rulebook, available for download at
It is important to ensure compliance with current BMFA rules and model specifications. Note particularly that all BMFA Vintage and Classic models must have valid documentation (random checks may be made).
There will be ad hoc scrutineering of rubber motor weights and towlines. It is up to the entrants to ensure they comply to the rules.
ALL models must display a BMFA number on the wing in accordance with rule 3.1.1(c).
Overall Free Flight Nationals Championship
- The Rubber Championship will be decided on the best three results from: BMFA Rubber, F1B Rubber, F1G Rubber and P30.
- The Glider Championship will be decided on the best three results from: BMFA Glider, F1A Glider, F1H Glider and Classic Glider.
- The Power Championship will be decided on the best 3 results from: BMFA Power, F1C Power, F1J Power and SLOP.
- The Electric Championship will be decided on the best 3 results from: BMFA Electric, F1Q Electric, E30 Electric and E36 Electric.
Points will be allocated in line with the Senior Free Flight Championship, Rule 3.1.11. These are as follows: – 1st 9 Points, 2nd 6 Points, 3rd 4 Points, 4th 3 Points, 5th 2 Points, 6th 1 Point. For contests with fewer than 6 entries, points will be awarded on a reduced basis eg 3 entries:1st 3 points, 2nd 2 points and 3rd 1 point. In the event of a tie, a count-back of placing will be applied.
Overall Junior Free Flight Championship
The Junior Championship will be determined by totalling a competitor’s score in all classes except the Women’s Cup, the Bowden Trophy, and non-championship classes. In the event of a tie, fly-off scores will be included, and if still unresolved, a count-back of placing will be applied.
Woman’s Cup/Frog Junior
Separate flights must be made for these classes; “doubling up” with other classes is not permitted. The Women’s Cup, the Frog Junior, and non-championship classes do not score points in the season-long British Free Flight Championship.
BMFA Non-Championship Classes
Scale Free Flight
The Scale FF classes are scheduled mostly for the afternoons. Saturday is Rubber Kit Scale in the afternoon and Aeromodeller/Model Aircraft designs in the morning; Sunday is Open Scale, flying only. Check the Scale FF entry form for actual timings. However, if it is windy and there is a likelihood of it abating later, the start times may be put back. Updates on this, and any other information will be posted on the day. Remember that the Scale FF classes are now on the separate Scale FF Nationals entry form.
The purpose of the Saturday classes is to encourage participation and stimulate interest. Look at the rules in the 2017 BMFA Scale rule book and you will see that they are very flexible as far as changes to the models are concerned, so don’t worry about whether you can alter this or that. For further details contact email@example.com ; for kit designs try http://www.hippocketaeronautics.com/hpa_plans/index.php and Aeromodeller/Model Aircraft plans http://www.outerzone.co.uk/browse_plans/index.asp
The rules for the non-championship classes do not appear in the BMFA rulebook.
- Lulu and Golden Wings glider event is a three-flight competition, launched from a 50-metre towline, with the max to be decided on the day. Plans for both the eligible models are available from: Mike Woodhouse, firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 01603 457754. Additionally, laser cut part kits for both models can be ordered from Belair email@example.com, Tel 01362 668658.
- Junior 55/35 Event. This is flown on Sunday and is a combined Rubber and Glider contest for juniors flying any glider with a projected wingspan not exceeding 55 inches and launched from a 50-metre towline. Any rubber model with a projected wingspan not exceeding 35 inches and powered by no more than 50 g of rubber. Three flights with the max to be decided on the day.
For any further information contact the BMFA via www.bmfa.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0116 2440028. The Free Flight Technical Committee can be contacted via the FFTC PRO, Ken Faux email@example.com