The competition takes place over the weekend of:
8th/9th June 2013 at Elvington Museum/Airfield
Entries must be received at the BMFA office by: 31st January 2013
We are pleased to announce the launch of the British Model Flying Association 2013 University and Schools Challenges
The British Model Flying Association is the United Kingdom’s National Governing Body for the sport of model aircraft flying and one of its major aims is to increase interest in aviation and engineering through education.
The Heavy Lift and Electric Lift Challenges are competitions requiring students to design, build and fly load-carrying model aircraft, piloted by radio control. These competitions have evolved to stretch the abilities of participating students and there is no doubt the development of a good aircraft requires each team to display design flair, technical knowledge and teamwork. Judging is by a panel of professional engineers and the competition has attracted very favourable comment from university external examiners, the challenge also enjoys the support of BAE SYSTEMS.
We are now planning our 18th competition and we invite you to enter teams in the 2013 Challenge which will be held over the weekend of 8th and 9th of June 2013, once again at the Yorkshire Air Museum (Saturday) and Elvington Airfield (Sunday).
Entry is free and there are cash prizes awarded to winning team members and their university/school department. Simply complete the entry form on the final page of the appropriate brochure and post or Email to me at the address above to register your entry(s) by the 31st of January 2013.
I look forward to meeting your teams at the 2013 Challenge; in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact me should you require further information or assistance.
(University Challenge Co-ordinator.)
Electric Lift Challenge
The electric element of the heavy lift challenge has further evolved to present fresh challenges to teams competing in the 2013 competition.
This year’s task can be considered as a humanitarian aid mission to ferry water supplies to drought stricken areas of the world.
The target is to transport as much water as possible around a prescribed flight course and deliver to the prescribed location within the allocated time.
Having designed a suitable airframe for this challenging task teams are required to submit drawings for their aircraft and conduct a presentation to a panel of judges that addresses the salient points of the design as well as outlining the thought processes and considerations involved.
For the flying element of the competition, teamwork, planning and a well-structured approach combined with a well designed and practical airframe will be key elements to success in this competition.
Please note that it is strongly recommended that the help of an experienced aero modeller is enlisted from the very start.
Local contacts are available from the BMFA office.
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We look forward to receiving your team’s entry for the 2013 Electric Lift Challenge.
Heavy Lift Challenge
University degree courses in engineering subjects provide an excellent technical and theoretical basis for students wishing to embark upon a career in the engineering industry.
However, it is often the case, that universities lack the facilities to allow students to gain practical experience working on meaningful design, manufacturing and operational projects. This is particularly so in aviation where full size aircraft projects demand large and expensive facilities if the projects are to be realistic. Although it is perfectly feasible for students to undertake aircraft design projects, these will inevitably feel incomplete unless they result in a real flying machine. The University Challenge Competitions are intended to fill this gap, whilst at the same time providing the framework for a compulsive, enjoyable and competitive experience.
Although the competitions centre on the design, manufacture and demonstration of model aircraft, the aim is to relate this, as far as possible, to the activities and processes that would be used in a full size machine. To this end the competing aircraft have to perform a genuine operational task in terms of payload, power plant type, etc. Furthermore the aerodynamic and structural design of the aircraft must be properly assessed in order to predict operational performance, and this assessment has to be presented in the form of a design report and design drawings.
Apart from the technical aspects, the project is intended to be carried out by A STUDENT OR GROUP OF STUDENTS, and this gives them valuable experience operating as a team in much the same way as they will ultimately have to do in their industrial careers. Furthermore they are given the opportunity to demonstrate their presentation skills when they give a short talk about their machine. The importance of the presentation should not be overlooked, as valuable points can be gained. In past years we have noted that teams often miss this opportunity to gain valuable points.
It is not intended that teams entering the competition are necessarily studying aeronautics and indeed many of the past winners have come from universities that do not have an aeronautical engineering faculty. Many students are undecided on their ultimate career direction when they embark upon a university course and it is the experience gained at university that will often point them in a particular direction. The competitions provide such experience in aviation technology and this may provoke an interest in aviation that might otherwise not arise.
The following sections of this brochure set out the rules and describe the characteristics and operational task of the competing aircraft. The brochure concludes with a set of notes, which are intended to help students in designing their machine, writing their design report and producing their design drawings.
Please note, it is very strongly recommended that the help of an experienced aero modeller is enlisted from the very start. Local contacts are available from the BMFA office.
[left click to open, right click and select download to save]
The scheme was created with a view to getting students involved in aeromodelling, whilst also providing an ideal component for part of their course – the synergy between the two means that those entering complete various aspects of their academic requirements, whilst enjoying the process of model aircraft construction, right from “problem definition” to (hopefully) seeing their creation fly and perform its tasks.
There follows some words by Sir Michael Alcock, which set the scene.
"My career in aviation spans some 48 years, beginning with a 5 year apprenticeship at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough and leading on to 37 years in the Royal Air Force until the present. In all that time I have found numerous instances amongst my contemporaries that leads me to conclude that a good grounding in aviation begins with a sound understanding of the principles of flight. And the best way to achieve that understanding is through the fascination of designing, building and flying model aircraft.
I can think of many famous names amongst the pioneers of aviation who began with a love of model aircraft but none more so than the man who was arguably the greatest innovator of modern aviation, Frank Whittle. It was Frank Whittle who invented the turbo jet engine without which aviation and air travel today would be a very different business. As a young man Whittle was forever experimenting with models, an interest that surely had something to do with his own quest to find ways of fundamentally overcoming the limitations of propeller driven power plants. His life and work as an aeronautical engineer of great distinction is reason enough to inspire anyone to at least take a leaf out of his book and learn from model aviation.
Everyone needs a challenge. The Heavy Lift Challenge poses both intellectual and practical challenges. By any stretch of the imagination, designing a unique aircraft to meet the stringent specifications is a challenge to the intellect, to understand the aerodynamic principles and to optimise the various performance characteristics to give the best result. And it is certainly a practical challenge to construct the aircraft with sufficient strength and reliability to perform the contest flights in any weather.
As a life long aeromodeller I can think of no better practical challenge than the BMFA/BAE SYSTEMS Heavy Lift Challenge to inspire understanding and innovation in the science of aeronautics. "
British Model Flyers Association