RC Pylon Racing
Radio controlled airplane racing (pylon racing), is one of the most exciting aspects of model aviation. The event comes down to one of the most basic objectives, see who can get around the flagpoles (pylons) faster than the other pilots in 10 laps, without turning inside a pylon (cut).
Like most competition disciplines of model aviation, there are a number of classes and it seems the sport is constantly evolving. Products disappearing, engine upgrades, electric/battery technology, etc. are all factors in the direction the sport is headed. Many of the popular classes are Electric formula one, Q-500, Quarter midget .40, Warbird racing, and Giant scale racing.
Essentially, the pilots stand inside a triangular shaped racing course, flying a left hand pattern. A caller who launches the airplane is assigned to each pilot. The caller also informs the pilot when to turn, an lends a calm voice to keep the pilots course smooth. The race consists of 10 laps, if any cuts are scored, that pilot has to fly an 11th lap. If 2 cuts are registered against a pilot, they immediately have to fly up and out of the course, and loiter fly until the race is over, at which point everyone lands.
The airplanes reach speed up to 200 mph in the fast classes, but the sport classes are typical sport model air speeds. These slower classes created to generate interest. Pylon racing is exciting, challenging, and rewarding. It will drastically improve your trimming and flying skills. Not to mention your ability to properly tune engines. If you are looking to add some excitement to your sport flying, look up a local race and get involved!
The AMA special interest group is the NMPRA. (National miniature pylon racing association).