Learn the basics of rc heli speed flying, how it's done, what models can compete, and how the pilots are classified and ranked.
A helicopter speed flying event (often referred to as a speed cup) is a competition where model helicopters are flown one at the time, much like a Bonneville speed run, in an effort to achieve the fastest average speed over the course with passes or runs in both directions. Each competitor may perform as many runs as possible within the allotted time limit.
A minimum of one run in each direction is required to get a scored flight. A scored flight is then assigned a time value that is computed from the average of the best pass time in each of the two directions. Finally, this average time value is used to compute the model’s average speed over the course length.
vailable components/assemblies. Models shall also have a rotor shaft perpendicular to the boom.
Classes are differentiated by body type and blade size. See detailed descriptions below:
Formula - A model with an airframe that is fully-enclosed by a fuselage. The model shall have a nearly continuous outer mold line with the exception of the point of egress of the main rotor, tail rotor, and landing gear assemblies. Models need not have a rotor shaft that is perpendicular to the boom. Models need not meet homologation rule.
Sport - A standard, pod-and-boom model with a canopy that is open (not fully enclosed) starting at the axial location of the main shaft and extending to its aft-most extent axially and starting at the height of the boom and extended to the ground vertically. Models shall also have a rotor shaft perpendicular to the boom. Models shall meet the homologation rule.
Class 1 - 200-400mm
Class 2 - 401-530mm
Class 3 - 531-630mm
Class 4 - 631-720mm
Class 5 - 721-780mm
Class 6 - 781-850mm
PILOT CLASSIFICATION AND RANKING
In order to allow pilots to compete amongst their peers and have equal opportunity for recognition within the community, each MHSFA-registered pilot will be given the choice of which skill level in which to compete for each season. The two available levels are Novice and Master.
Novice is a category intended for those pilots who are just beginning or still learning the speed discipline or for those people who do not have aspirations to progress to a more advanced level. Novice pilots will only compete against other novice pilots and will not be subject to the pre-stage rule for their course. This is level is intended for the so-called “weekend-warrior.”
Master is a level intended for those pilots whose experience level and scoring consistency put them in the top few percent of their respective classes nationally or internationally for a given season. These pilots are subject to the pre-stage rule for their course. Additionally, the highest ranked master pilots in a given season may be invited to participate in larger national or international events that will provide additional community exposure to the pilot and whose top ranks will be given special awards.
In an effort to prevent “sandbaggers,” MHSFA will periodically assess the novice and master level statistics for average and maximum speeds across all pilots to determine whether there are any individuals who might consider changing their skill level to better accommodate them and their peers. While MHSFA may notify a pilot that they are better suited for one class or another based on these statistics, we will not force any pilot to compete in a specific skill level.
We encourage each pilot to consider their personal goals and the impact of their rankings on their fellow speed community members. It is, of course, not fun to either always lose to someone who is clearly at a higher skill level, or win against someone who is clearly at lower skill level… Please be kind!
During an MHSFA-officiated event, the officials shall record every pilot’s best left and best right time through the course for each round flown as a minimum means to determine final ranking for each class in that event. MHSFA official recognizes first, second, and third places as determined by the top three speeds computed via an average of the best left and best right times recorded.
While the number and specifics of awards are left to the discretion of the contest director, MHSFA does encourage providing some form of incentive for the highest ranks in any given event. Additionally, MHSFA may provide the contest director of a given event the option to purchase first, second, and third place medals with the MHSFA logo on them prior to their event as a means to recognize those highest-ranked pilots.
MHSFA will maintain a record of each MHSFA-registered pilot’s past performance including, but not limited to final scores and ranks from each MHSFA-officiated event in which they’ve competed, best speed, and average speed. This information may be displayed on MHSFA’s website if agreed to by the individual pilot to whom the record belongs.