2023 FIA World Championship for F3A Model Aerobatic Aircraft

By Willie Bodenstein. Pictures supplied


The 2023 FIA World Championship for F3A Model Aerobatic Aircraft was held from 19 to 26 August in Warwick, Australia.

Fifty-seven pilots from 20 countries took part. A team of five represented South Africa. Seniors were, Joshua Tomoy, Andre Stockwell and Roston Dugmore a previous junior world champion and Jonathan Heath who competed in the junior category.

The F3A class is the most popular FAI/CIAM F3 Aerobatics competition class. The F3A class involve complex aerial manoeuvres with a radio-controlled model aircraft, where utmost precision and skill in controlling the model aircraft in any attitude and under all conditions is required. The on-board radio control equipment, receiving signals from the competitor's transmitter, actuates the control surfaces to enable aerobatic performance.

Flights are performed directly in front a panel of judges in an aerobatic zone or "box", which extends 60 degrees to the left and right of a centre line, and at an elevation of no more than 60 degrees. Each competitor's performance is assessed by a panel of judges who will award marks, independently from each other, between zero and ten for each manoeuvre, or figure. Manoeuvres are assigned a difficulty factor (K-factor) depending on the complexity of the particular manoeuvre. Points are subtracted for various types of defects observed by the judges, the severity of these defects and the number of times these defects are observed.

Typically, an F3A model aircraft has a fuselage length of no more than 2 metres, a wing span of less than 2 metres, and the weight must not exceed 5kg. The motive power is usually an electric motor or an internal combustion engine. All engines have to be adequately silenced.

CIAM offers competition flight programmes of different difficulty. There are Advanced - Preliminary -, Semi-final / Final - and Unkown Schedules.

The results on the championship's website are a bit confusing and we publish it as we have it. I have tried to get clarification from SAMAA as far as the Soth African participation is concerned but unfortunately my call was not returned. All that seems certain is that Team South Africa finished in 11th.

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