Fun, relaxed, legitimate competition.

For pilots of all skill levels, right in our backyard.

What is this?

Some Things You Should Know About 3D Trials

A Long Time Coming

There was a time when RC heli competitions were not uncommon in America. Today all over Europe you'll find people coming together under various formats to test their mettle against other 'normal' pilots. But in the U.S. if you want to compete in 3D, your only real options are Futaba XFC and IRCHA's "The One Competition". There is nothing wrong with either event, except in order to get there, you have to be among the best in the world. That leaves a gaping hole for the rest of us.

Spreading The Love

So a few friends put our heads together and decided to do something about it! Initially launching in the Pacific Northwest, our hope is that other individuals or groups will follow the 3D Trials formula to create hyper-accessible venues for area pilots to get their feet wet in legitimate competition. By spending the extra effort to create a well polished format and brand, we strive to lower the barrier to entry for others all over the country to produce similar events by leveraging what we've created.

Where it begins

This first event will be held on September 18th, 2015 at Ediger Farms in Dayton, Oregon. In conjuction with the Third Annual RC Heli Nation Fun Fly which runs all weekend. The competition is free, both to compete and to spectate - and we strongly encourage family and friends to come cheer on their pilots.

The Format

Scoring, Classes, and prizes!

3D Trials is a set maneuvers competition. That means each pilot will perform one (3 - 4 minute) flight consisting of a series of maneuvers from a list of pre-approved, pre-defined manevuers. Each maneuver has an assigned difficulty factor called a "K value", which combined with the average score from our three judges will determine the overall score for each maneuver performed. Thus, attempting harder maneuvers pays off if you can score reasonably well at them because a perfect flight generally won't score as well as a much more difficult flight with a few mistakes.

Prior to the start of the event, each competitor will submit a set list specifying the sequence of maneuvers they'll perform. Once all set lists are submitted, they will be tabulated and a class breakdown will be established. This model makes it more difficult for contestants to manipulate the results in their favor. Sand-bagging also will not be permitted, routines should reasonably reflect a pilot's skill level.

Three classes, each with different payouts:

  • Sportsmen 1st = $175, 2nd = $150, 3rd = $125

    Targets individuals who have never competed and likely never considered competing before. A chance to challenge and test oneself in a formal setting and receive feedback from objective judges. Plus an opportunity to win some money!
    Maneuvers attempted in this category might include Traveling Double Roll and Figure 8.

  • Advanced 1st = $225, 2nd = $175

    These are individuals who truly enjoy the extraordinary challenge of 3D flight. They may be working toward higher order maneuvers or find contentment on the slow and steady path.
    Maneuvers attempted in this category might include Piro Pogos and Tumbling 8.

  • Expert Champion = $275

    These are individuals serious about 3D. Not content to just be the best at the local club, this rare breed dreams of matching up with the best in the world.
    Maneuvers attempted in this category might include Piro Globe and Time Machine.

A provided "caller" will stand close while the pilot flies and announce a maneuver from the routine prior to the pilot beginning each one. The pilot may say "next" or "done" in order to prompt the caller to move on to the next maneuver. This model ensures that the pilot and judges are expecting the same manuever so that it can be scored correctly.

Set Maneuvers

Tip: Seek maximum difficulty performed with high precision


K Value


  • Constant-Heading Circles
    Move the model in a clockwise circle 30 feet in diameter while keeping the model in the tail-in orientation, maintaining consistent speed and altitude. Stop where you began the circle and hover for 5 seconds. Repeat the same maneuver in a counter-clockwise circle.
  • 1
  • Figure 8
    The model shall prescribe a figure of 8 pattern flown slowly in hover conditions.
  • 1.5
  • Inside Loops w/ top pirouette
    From straight and level flight from right to left (left-side loop), pull the model vertically through a smooth 1/2 loop, when the model is inverted at the top of the loop, perform a 360-degree pirouette and then complete the loop until the model resumes straight and level flight where the maneuver began. Repeat from left to right.
  • 1.75
  • 540-Degree Stall Turns
    From straight and level flight from right to left (left-side stall turn), pull the model vertical with a smooth input of backward elevator until the nose is pointing perpendicular to the horizon. When the model stops climbing, rotate the nose of the model 540 degrees left (left pirouette) and allow the model to fall the same distance that it climbed before pulling back into straight and level flight. Repeat from left to right (right-side stall turn) with a right pirouette.
  • 1.5
  • 540-Degree Stall Turns Inverted
    From inverted, tail-first straight and level flight from right to left (left-side stall turn), pull the model vertical with a smooth input of backward elevator until the nose is pointing perpendicular to the horizon. When the model stops climbing, rotate the nose of the model 540 degrees (left pirouette) and allow the model to fall the same distance that it climbed before easing into straight and level flight. Repeat from left to right (right-side stall turn) with a right pirouette.
  • 2
  • Traveling Double Roll
    Beginning with straight and level flight from right to left, the model will perform two 360-degree aileron rolls while maintaining consistent height and velocity. Pause between completion of one roll and beginning the next.
  • 2
  • Center-Heading Figure 8s
    While maintaining constant altitude, speed, and heading, begin a circle to the right with the tail pointing to the center of the circle. As the model reaches the starting point, continue moving, but in the opposite direction with the nose pointing to the center of the circle. Repeat starting the circle to the left.
  • 2.5
  • Inverted Figure 8s
    From level inverted flight parallel to the flight line from right to left, execute a 225 degree right turn to enter the Figure 8. This will cause the model to cross in front of the pilot at a 45-degree right-side nose-in orientation at which point the model should be turned 270 degrees left to complete the right side of the Figure 8 and end up back in the center. Repeat in opposite (reverse start) direction.
  • 2.5
  • Knife Edge Pirouette
    With the model flying straight and level from right to left, roll to the left (toward the pilot), reduce collective to zero (center stick) and execute at least 1 full pirouette to the right. Exit by rolling to the right, adding collective and fly away upright straight and level. Repeat from left to right, reversing the piro and roll directions.
  • 3
  • Tic Tocs : Skids In
    With the model in a nose-in hover, execute at least 5 continuous tic-tocs.
    Variants: Nose Up, Nose Down, Nose Left, Nose Right
  • 3.25
  • Rainbow Square
    Perform a square circuit created from a series of tail-down Rainbows each finishing with a 90 degree pirouette before starting the next Rainbow. There should be minimal hesitation at the pirouettes.
  • 3.75
  • Funneling Funnel
    A Funnel is a horizontal circle performed with either the skids or rotor in a constant heading toward the center of the circle. A Funneling Funnel combines small/tight Funnels together to trace the pattern of a larger Funnel.
  • 4
  • Magic Roundabout
    Flown at medium speed this is a combo style maneuver whereby the model prescribes 4 individual circles (funnels) within one large circle. Each small circle consists of one funnel. The model is to change orientation by 90 degrees between each funnel. For example, backwards Hurricane followed by an upright Tail down funnel, then forward Hurricane and then finally a nose down funnel. Transitions are to be fluid and morph smoothly throughout. Maneuver is complete when helicopter passes the pilot after completing one complete circuit.
  • 5
  • Piro Pogo
    The maneuver will begin and end in a stationary upright pirouetting hover in front of the pilot. The helicopter will perform a 50ft pirouetting climb, followed by a 1/2 piro flip to inverted at the top of the climb followed immediately by a 50ft inverted pirouetting descent returning to the start position . At the bottom, the helicopter will immediately perform a 50ft inverted pirouetting climb, followed by a 1/2 piro flip to upright at the top of the climb, then a 50ft upright pirouetting descent back to the start position.
  • 5.25
  • Tumbling 8
    A horizontal figure 8 performed with either forward or backward tumbles. The lobes of the 8 will begin and end on the pilot's eye line and each lobe shall be a clearly defined full circle.
  • 5.25
  • Pirouetting Rainbow Square with Reversals
    Similar to a Rainbow Square except the model piroeuttes at a constant rate throughout. The piro direction should reverse at each corner.
  • 6
  • Time Machine
    A Big Ben is a skids-out, right rudder, 12-point Tic-Toc. The Time Machine is a Big Ben followed by a skids-in Big Ben (counter-clockwise).
    The maneuver is entered from a stationary, tail-in hover, with back elevator to bring the nose to the 12 o'clock position. Once a 12-point, right-rudder Tic-Toc is completed the nose will have returned to the vertical position where the model should then do a half aileron roll. A second 12-point, right-rudder Tic-Toc is then performed skids-in.
  • 6.5
  • Serpent
    A Pirouetting Snake flown as a series of joined half circuits along the flightline with a 180 degree turn-around followed by the same number of joined half circuits in the reverse direction down the flightline. At least 4 half circuits in each direction, all arcs to be the same size, height and speed and the pirouette rate to remain constant. Each half circuit must be clearly presented with the disc close to the vertical.
  • 6.5
  • Piro Globe
    A succession of Pirouetting Loops with the plane of the loop rotating by 45 degrees at the bottom of each loop until an imaginary globe in the sky has been prescribed comprising 5 continuous loops. Exit from the maneuver should be the same as the point of entry, but with the helicopter moving in the opposite direction.
  • 7
  • Hong Kong Eye
    Commencing at 12 o'clock and doing continuous piro-tic-tocs, the model will prescribe a vertical circle in front of the pilot and at each quarter of the vertical circle will piro-half-flip skids-in to skids-out and vice versa. The start and finish of the maneuver will be a piro-half-flip at the 12 o'clock position.
  • 8

"The emerging picture from such studies is that ten thousand hours of practice is required to achieve the level of mastery associated with being a world class expert in anything..."

(This Is Your Brain: The Science of a Human Obsession)

Meet The Judges

For the love

Brian Langston

Sacramento, CA

Kyle Dahl

Bakersfield, CA

Alex Rose

Santa Clara, CA

Fast Approaching

Time remaining to perfect your routine

It's true, time is short so get out to the field and practice!

How to compete

Four steps to a good time

  • Active full AMA membership is required in order to compete. Please ensure your membership is current prior to the event date.

  • Visit the event page on RC FlightDeck for 2015 Pacific Northwest 3D Trials and complete your pilot registration.

    Registration for The Third Annul RC Heli Nation Fun Fly is not required to compete, but is encouraged!

  • Practice Your Routine

    Use the set maneuvers list to create a sequence that is three to four minutes in length (however many manuevers you want to try to do in that time) and start working on it! Pick maneuvers that challenge you, but with enough practice you'll be able to perform consistently.

  • Show up to Fly!

    Competition begins at 9a on September 18, but prior to that we'll hold a pilot meeting for all competitors as well as take in any flight routines or changes that were not submitted ahead of time. There are a lot of flights to get through, so arrive no later than 8a and be ready to fly by 8:30a. During the pilot meeting a flight order will be announced, but you'll be expected to be nearby all day in case changes have to be made to the order or timing.


Above and beyond in support of our hobby

RC Heli Nation

Providing the location, advertising, general support, and
committed $1,125 in prize money!


The manufacturer of arguably the top chargers and LiPOs in the industry stepped up to support a fledgling regional competition without hesitation!