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General Competition Tips
It is recommended that you check out the Competition Rocketry page on the NAR website.

Below is a link to a General Competition Tips article I wrote for NARAM tips pages years ago. Unfortunately, some of the links no longer work (originally written in 2004).  I hope to update this soon.

Samples from it:

Quote:Purpose - The tips, designs, articles and other information here has been compiled to help rocketeers get up to speed on contest flying.]
The NAR's competition rule book is officially called the "U.S. Model Rocket Sporting Code". 

The Rule Book has a lot of rules in it, and some people feel overwhelmed by them. A lot of the rules cover things as to how to run contests, or calculating contest points, which you realy do not need to wade through in order to compete. So, each of the individual event tips pages posted here have their own short description and the basics for each event. However, if you want to really understand the finer points of the rules or are considering a design that may skirt the boundaries of the rules, by all means you should consult the Pink Book. For off-line access, a PDF version of the Pink Book is available.

Getting Started - Everyone has to start somewhere. It may be useful to identify a few events that you yourself find interesting to you, and concentrate more effort into preparing for those events over the other events.

Just Fly it - Try some of the other events too, devoting less effort than some other ones you are keying on, but try none the less, and fly them. A lot is learned by just trying, and a lot is learned by competing for real, so the more experience you get now can pay off later.

Adaptability 101 - If you just can't make up contest models for many of the events, you can draft some of your sport models that can be adapted or pressed into use. A lot of 18mm models can be flown in B Streamer Duration. Others can be pressed into use for eggloft with the addition of an egg capsule. Of course, performance potential may be compromised. In some duration events, reduced performance potential could be considered a "good thing" - if a contestant loses their first model and needs to make sure they get their second model back. Although with this year's NARAM event selection, having specific "return flight" models is not as critical. At least not involving adapting sport models, since only the glider events and possibly helicopter event might make use of some low-performing "return" models.

Reliability 101 - In the long run, reliable models of lesser performance usually beat unreliable high performance ones. The fanciest high-concept model that is theoretically capable of outperforming everyone else's models means little if it can not perform reliably. For the new flier, it is better to go with something of a proven reliable design or competitive kit than try something more advanced or complex. Even advanced competitors fall victim to trying to squeeze performance too far, but when/if such models do fail, they understand that it is a gamble they chose to take.  

(use this link to see the full original version:  )
NAR# 18723  -  GeorgesRockets.Com   "Contest flying, Sport flying, it's all good."

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