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Airfield Models Design and Build Contest

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Back to Design & Build 2006-2007



Airfield Models ( Models 2006-2007 Design and Build Contest

This contest was announced on June 18, 2006.  The deadline for entries was June 30, 2007 and is now closed.

Winners will be announced by July 30, 2007

This is a contest for designer/builders.  There is only one category this year Best Model Aircraft.

All entries remain the exclusive property of the designer/builder to include copyrights of all submitted work as well as commercial rights.  By entering this contest you agree to allow Airfield Models to display the work you submit from now to eternity.

The spirit of this contest is for you to design and build an excellent wood flying model aircraft.  This is my first time sponsoring a contest so it will be a learning process for me.  Accordingly, all categories below are subject to change.  As long as you stay within the spirit of the competition no changes will be made that retroactively make your entry ineligible.  In the event that does happen, please contact me and I'll work it out.  Changes will be clearly noted.

Questions should be e-mailed to me.  I will not help with your design, but if you have questions about the contest they will added to the FAQ so that everybody gets the same answer.

If you intend to enter this contest, please e-mail me as soon as possible.  I will notify you whenever there is important new information about this contest.



  • To promote excellence in wood model aircraft design and construction.

  • To foster the design of elegant, lightweight, airworthy model aircraft.


Rules and Eligibility

There is no entry fee.


  • Only original design flying model aircraft are eligible.

  • You may enter more than once.

  • Models must be primarily of wood construction.  Foam, plastic, composite, etc. are not eligible.  Materials other than wood may be used in the construction, such as composite wing tubes, fiberglass cowls, etc., but all else being equal the model having fewer non-wood materials will have an advantage.

  • There is no size requirement.

  • There is no power requirement.  Any suitable power source (steam, glow, electric, gas, fusion, harnessed gerbil team, etc.) is eligible as are gliders and sailplanes.  Please note that gerbil(s) must feel they are making an important contribution.  Designs subjecting gerbils to cruel or inhumane treatment will be disqualified.

  • Any type of flying model aircraft may be submitted to include Radio Control, Control Line or Free Flight.  No type has an advantage over another.

  • Model must be flight worthy.

Not Eligible

  • Team entries.

  • Models built from another person's kit, plan or design are not eligible.  This includes altering another person's design such as changing outlines, scaling up or down, etc.

  • ARF's.

  • Scale model aircraft.

What to avoid

  • Over-complicating a design for the sake of doing so.  Tip: You will fare better if you design something you can build well rather than try to design something impressive that is too difficult to build.

  • Ill fitting joints, visible glue, mistreated components (gouges, etc.) and anything that detracts from the beauty of the unfinished work.  Tip: If it's made from wood, sand every side of it!


Judging Criteria

  • Quality of design

  • Grace, elegance and efficiency of design

  • Quality of craftsmanship (material selection, fit, finish and neatness)

  • Overall appeal

While a visitor and/or contestant-only voting system may be implemented, I reserve the right to be the sole judge and will probably exercise that right.


What to Submit

Articles, photos, videos and other work submitted will remain your intellectual property but are subject to editing for inclusion on this site.

  • Plenty of clear construction photos.

    Photographs are ultimately what your model will be judged by.  Please submit only digital photos or scanned photos from film cameras.  Photos from an inexpensive 2-3 mega-pixel camera are high enough quality.  Models that can not be judged due to insufficient or poor quality photos will be disqualified.

    I strongly urge you to use a digital camera so you know immediately if the photo turned out.  If you use film then you may find that the photo did not turn out after it's too late to take the photo again.

    "Photoshopped" images will not be used.  You may crop and color-correct images but I prefer that you do not edit the images in any way.

    Tip:  Take photos as if you are writing an instruction manual for an absolute beginner to build your model.  If your photos don't show something I will wonder why.

  • An article describing your model.

    Tell its story in as much detail as you like.  I prefer you to discuss what your ideas were regarding the design as well as talk about how you built the model.  There is no minimum or maximum article length.

    Tip:  Work on the article as you go along so you don't forget anything.

  • Proof of flight.

    Flight photos are acceptable but video is strongly recommended.  Video must be in a common format (WMV, QuickTime or MPG).  Video that requires downloading adware-infested video players is not acceptable.

Added 6/24/2006

  • A plan is not required

    I often scratch build without a plan because I know it isn't always necessary.



Edit 6/19/2006: Additional prizes may become available as the contest is in progress.  Prizes will be awarded in order of value until they're all gone.

  • First Prize 2006-2007 Design & Build ContestUltimate Magnetic Fixture Set

    A high quality set of fixtures made from Sapele.  The set includes:

    (4) 1-1/2" Fixtures.

    (4) 2-1/2" Fixtures.

    (4) 3-1/2" Fixtures.

    (8) 5-1/2" Fixtures.

    (4) 7-1/2" Fixtures.

    (4) 9-1/2" Fixtures.

    (2) 11-1/2" Fixtures.

    (12) Vertical Press Assemblies w/brass hardware, thumbscrews and clamp blocks.

    (324) Magnets.

    All hardware to attach magnets to fixtures.

    Value: $500.00

  • Standard Magnetic Fixture Set

    Includes 100 extra magnets to build with.

    Value: $280.00

  • Certificate for Klass Kote Paint Products

    Excellent paint for flying model aircraft and you get to pick your own.  This prize will provide you with enough paint, primer and reducer for several models.

    Value: $125.00

  • Finishing Kit

    This kit will include lots of sanding blocks including specialty sanders as well as several packs of high quality sandpaper.

    Approximate Value: $125.00

  • Socket Head Cap Screw Assortment from Micro Fasteners

    Includes sizes 2-56 through 8-32 in a variety of lengths.  Comes in a compartmented container with hinged lid.  Prize also includes two lengths of very nice servo screws.

    Value: $25.00


Contest Sponsors


The Future

I don't know of any online contests that judge the quality of a model aircraft and there may be a good reason for that.  I am hoping this contest goes well and that contestants respect the rules and honor the spirit of the contest.

I would like to have additional categories in future contests particularly because I know this contest favors builders having more experience and new builders have little incentive to enter.

Hopefully the contest can evolve to have (at minimum) Beginner, Intermediate, Expert and Master classes.


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Copyright 2006 Paul K. Johnson