In this article, we will show a simple procedure to get a FAI F3C layout created at your RC Helicopter flying field. For those not familiar with F3C helicopter flying and its associated contest, visit some of these sites for introduction and reference.
Some considerations and preparations you will need before start.
- Visit field and identify best location for this F3C layout
- Discuss layout location with club members
- Ask and obtain permission from club
- Form a small team for layout maintenance throughout the season, the circles and lines are mostly gone after mowing, touch ups are frequently needed.
- Find a place to store stencils and spray paint within club storage
- Have club make announcement and write up usage rules
A note on layout location
- If you decide to place this layout at a quiet corner in the field, as most of the time it is for practicing hovering only. Think again. Once your layout is there, it will draw all kinds of flyer doing all sorts of things. This includes newbies, people wanted to try out F3C maneuvers, etc. So be prepared for sudden traffic increase in that area.
- People not aware of the layout may use the circles practicing auto, occupying the area for non F3C usage.
Once you figured out everything, here is what you need:
- Large cardboard or large thin plywood, you are going to cut and trim so you can do stenciling on the grass. Plywood is preferable as cardboard and wet grass don’t work well together
- White spray paint
- String and Tape measure
My experimental template is made out of cardboard since it will be easier to transport it to the flying site. Seen from above is a cardboard cut out for the 1 meter circle, the width is cab be made 2 to 3 inches wide.
Carefully study the official FAI document beforehand on F3C layout, poke holes on the ground as center point of circles. Use measuring tape to layout straight lines and marking radius of circles. Use cut out template as stencil and time to spray paint. Don’t worry about over spray, just pluck the grass afterward. Aim spray can closer to the grass in windy conditions and note paint dry fast in open area. Dont forget, spray painting on wet grass sounds silly. Once complete if you are planning to put up the flag on the sides, plant them now.
We are almost done. Once layout is completed, send club announcement. Layout maintenance team should know about grass mowing schedule for the field, this way they can arrange patch job accordingly.
Have Fun and more pictures available here.