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TCC NAR Competition Primer: USMRSC Rule 62, Radio Controlled Glider Competition (RCG)


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This primer presents, in one place, all the information you need to succeed in NAR model rocket competition in this event.

TCC has provided a link to the official rules whenever we discuss a rule.


All Entries

Your entry must:

* Comply with the NAR Model Rocket Safety Code: USMRSC 2.2

* Be a model rocket as described by the United States Model Rocket Sporting Code. USMRSC 3.1-3.9

* Use NAR Contest Approved motors: USMRSC 4.1, 4.4

* NOT eject its motor casing(s) without a recovery system. USMRSC 9.2

* Have your NAR number or your name on the outside, large and clear enough that the contest officials can easily read it. Teams must use the Team number or name. USMRSC 9.4

* Have been constructed by yourself or by one or more members of your Team. You may not enter Ready-To-Fly rockets (no construction required) in NAR sanctioned competition. USMRSC 9.9


Know the rules

Your having a grasp of the bigger picture can increase your enjoyment of NAR competition. You can read the Pink Book Lite to see only the rules for competitors, not for Contest Directors or other contest officials. Read the full USMRSC (Pink Book) to see all the rules.

* Pink Book Lite:

* Full USMRSC:


General Competition Tips:

TCC NAR Competition 101

TCC NAR Competition Strategy and Tactics

Contest Etiquette by Kevin Paul Wickart, NAR 59720, cr 1998, the author

Beginning Competition -- The RSVP Principle by Kevin Paul Wickart, NAR 59720, cr 1998, the author

Guide to NAR Contest Rocketry Information for Beginners by Jeff Vincent, NAR 27910, Northeast Regional Contest Chair


Which are the Main USMRSC Rules for This Event?

* The main rules are 9, 15 and 62.

* This event can be flown as Multi-Round.


What is the Goal?

* In Radio Controlled Glider Competition you want to repeatedly achieve specified flight times of your choice, and land as close as possible to a designated spot consistently over a series of three flights. USMRSC 62.1


Are There Any Special Considerations?

* Your entry must be single-staged. USMRSC 62.1

* One portion of your entry must be a radio controlled glider which returns to the ground in a stable, gliding flight. Only this gliding portion is scored. USMRSC 62.1

* Your entry may separate into multiple parts, but non-gliding portions must descend safely. USMRSC 62.1, 9.2 and NAR Model Rocket Safety Code

* You must chose your target time before you make any official flight at the meet. USMRSC 62.3

* Your target time must be from 30 seconds to 8 minutes in 30 second intervals. USMRSC 62.3

* You should have a helper to count down your remaining time. USMRSC 62.4


Do I Have to Return My Entry?

* No, the rules of USMRSC 62 do not require return. However, since you must make three official flights for this event, not returning your entry will drastically lessen your score.

* The Contest Director can require that you return your entry. USMRSC 9.10


How Many Flights Can I Make?

* You must make three official flights. USMRSC 62.1

* You can use more than one model. USMRSC 9.7


How is the Competition Scored?

* The duration starts at the first motion on the launch pad and ends when the gliding portion lands or the timer loses sight it. USMRSC 15.6

* Your final score is the sum of your three official flights. The contestant with the lowest total error summed over three flights is the winner. USMRSC 62.5

* The score for each official flight has two parts: Time and Distance. USMRSC 62.5

            Time:  Actual Flight Time in seconds divided by Target Flight Time in seconds and the result multiplied by 100 then rounded to the nearest 0.1%. If the result is greater than or equal to 100, subtract 100 from it. Otherwise, subtract the result from 100.

            For example:

Flight 1 Actual = 95.2 seconds, Target = 120 seconds

            95.2 / 120 x 100 = 79.333… which is rounded to 79.3

            Since 79.3 is less than 100, subtract 79.3 from 100 to get the Time score of 20.7


            Flight 2 Actual = 144.8, Target = 120 seconds

            144.8 / 120 x 100 = 120.666… which is rounded to 120.7

            Since 120.7 is greater than 100, subtract 100 from 120.7 to get the Time score of 20.7


            Flight 3 Actual = 120, Target = 120 seconds

            120 / 120 x 100 = 100 which is rounded to 100.0

            Since 100 is equal to 100, subtract 100 from 100 to get the Time score of 0


            Distance:  Measured from the nose of the model to the target spot in meters. If your entry is more than 50 meters from the target, or if you catch or interfere with your entry’s landing, the Distance score is 100.

            For example:

Flight 1 Distance is 50 meters, score is 50

Flight 2 Distance is 51 meters, score is 100

Flight 3 Distance is 49 meters, score is 49


            Add the scores for all three flights:

            Flight 1:           20.7 + 50 = 70.7

            Flight 2:           20.7 + 100 = 120.7

            Flight 3:           0 + 49 = 49


            Final score = 70.7 + 120.7 + 49 = 190.4


What Will Disqualify My Entry?

* Your entry will be disqualified if the gliding portion has a permanently attached streamer or parachute. USMRSC 62.2

* Your entry will be disqualified if you do not maintain full control of your entry at all times. USMRSC 62.2

* Your entry will be disqualified if, in the opinion of the contest officials, the glider fails to glide. USMRSC 11.1

* Your entry will be disqualified if its power pod separates at launch and proceeds into the air under power without the glider. USMRSC 10.3


How About Some Suggestions for New Competitors?

First, learn to fly a radio controlled glider. Start with an inexpensive park flyer. Here are some links about learning to fly RC:


Here are a some Ready To Fly RC electric planes for around $100



ASP carries Rob Edmonds’ Arcie II, which would be a good place to start:


 CC Competition Vendor list:


Don’t paint your glider. Paint adds too much weight. Use colored permanent markers, with black on the bottom. Optionally, you can finish with a light coat of thinned (50%) dope.


Follow the instructions in your kit for trimming your glider.


Here’s a link to Apogee Components “Peak of Flight” newsletter articles on glider trimming. 


Many vendors have competition models and/or competition supplies:


What Else & What Next?

Online Competition Rocket Plans:

After you gain enough experience, you can convert some free flight gliders to RC.

NAR Competition Plans

Competition Model Rockets (Howard Kuhn) Plans


More details on trimming from Kevin McKiou (Vector-Aero Cuda)


TCC NAR Competition Bibliography


Yahoo group for discussing model rocket competition in general:


Yahoo group for discussing this event:


George Gassaway’s NARAM Tips:


Detecting Thermals:


US Spacemodeling (International Competition Tips):


US Spacemodeling Home Page (International Competition):


rmr Frequently Asked Questions – Part 9: Competition and Records:



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