Competition Category F3J

Competition Category F3J

What is F3J?

F3J is an international FAI competition sport class for thermal duration gliders. The competition format is existing with minor changes since 1993. The first world championship was held 1998 in England, where the basic idea comes from.

   – Max. surface area 150 dm²
   – Max. flying mass (AOW) 5kg, typically 1.8kg – 2.2kg
   – Loading 20 to 75 g/dm²
   – No telemetry of flight performance data
   – Max. line length 150m (resp. distance to upwind turnaround device)

The goal is to stay in the air as long as possible within the working time of 10 minutes (fly-off 15 minutes). At the end of each flight, the pilot has to stop the model as near as possible to a given landing spot (max. 100 landing points). Severe penalties are intended if the launch was done earlier or the landing was after the signaled working time period.
The start happens in flight groups with about four to eight pilots competing against each other within the same working time. Consequently, four to eight launch and landing spots are marked on the flying field. The groups will differ from round to round. The scores in each group are normalised to 1000 points for the best pilot. About six to eight rounds shall be flown. The launch of the model will be by hand held towline or winch. Stephan Lämmlein, 25 May 2022

The official FAI Sporting Code can be checked at

Upcoming F3J CONTEST Events 2024

Preliminary dates

25.05.-26.05.2024 Fribourg Trophy, Fribourg (SUI)

27.07.-28.07.2024 Pre competion of F3J World Championship, Starmoen Airfield, 2415 Elverum (NOR)

21.09.-22.09.2024 Baden Cup, Heiligenberg (GER), may be shifted by one week

F3J Results 2024

F3J results 2023 Final Ranking

F3J results 2022 Final Ranking

F3J Tourmanager

Stephan Lämmlein (age 66) is flying RC model gliders for more than 50 years. He visited F3J competitions right from the beginning on (1995). His main interests are thermal soaring and slope soaring in alpine regions. Stephan took part as a helper or Junior Team Manager of the German F3J team at several international championships. In 2022, he was part of the German F3J pilot team, which ranked 2nd at the F3J world championships in SVK. He participated on meteorologic research programmes with E-motor gliders in Himalaya (Nepal), Altiplano (Bolivia), Höfsjöküll (Iceland) and Allgäu (Germany).

Stephan Lämmlein
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