28 Feb 2023

Much anticipated Indoor Aerobatic World Championships returns to Lithuania this March

The most important F3P event of 2023 – FAI F3P World Championships for Indoor Aerobatic Model Aircraft – will be held from 19-25 March 2023 in Lithuania, at Jonavas Sports Arena. 

This exciting contest usually takes place every two years, with the first F3P World Championship being held in 2013 in Germany (Coburg), which was followed up with Poland in 2015, then France in 2017 and Crete, Greece in 2019. The planned 2021 Championships in Romania had to be cancelled due to the Covid pandemic, so there is much anticipation for the 2023 edition after a four year wait, and organisers are keen to use the opportunity to promote air sports and aeromodelling, with an Expo and record-setting event.

F3P aeromodelling
2023 FAI F3P World Championships will take place in Lithuania at the Jonava Sports Arena

Two classes of competition

During the Lithuania Championships, athletes from Junior and Senior categories will compete in two classes. Firstly, F3P-A, in which competitors fly a predefined sequence of manoeuvres to the highest degree of precision possible, and secondly F3P-AFM, in which the aircraft follow a choreographed aerobatic flight, set to music. This latter class only became an official part of the World Championships in 2019, so this is the second time contestants will have the opportunity to compete. 

A total of 32 athletes from 13 countries (Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland) will compete in the F3P-A class, and 21 athletes in the F3P-AFM. All flights will be judged by two panels of international judges (5 judges in each panel; during the finals – all ten judges at once).

2019 FAI F3P World Championships in Greece
An F3P aircraft at the 2019 FAI World F3P Championships

key dates

  • 19 March at 16:30: Official Opening Ceremony of the World Championships 
  • 20-21 March: four F3P-A preliminary rounds, with the top 10 going through to the finals.
  • 22-23 March: four F3P-AFM preliminary rounds and again the top 10 will enter the finals.
  • 24 March – F3P-A final rounds. Evening: record-setting event
  • 25 March – F3P-AFM final rounds, and Closing and Awards Giving Ceremony at 16:00

F3P aeromodelling 2019
Competitors at the 2019 FAI F3P World Championships, Crete, Greece 

    Judging AFM

    In this artistic class, the flight is set to music of 120s in length, with the model airplanes “dancing” in choreographed moves. There are three categories of criteria for judging, which are scored between 0–10 during each flight:

    1. Flying style: precision, effective use of the full flight envelope, and innovation of new manoeuvres and manoeuvre combinations.
    2. Artistic Quality: highest scores are earned when the music includes fast and slow segments and a broad dynamic range, and the flying is well choreographed and synchronized to match the music.
    3. Overall Impression: use of the entire flight area, the use of special effects, interaction and reaction of the crowd, and the fluidity of transitions.

    This class makes a great spectacle for the audience. 

    Encouraging new participants

    Aside from the championship competitions, event organisers are putting on a side attraction for participants, who will try and beat the Lithuanian record for the highest number of indoor radio controlled model aircraft in the air. This will take place on the evening of Friday 24 March.

    Event Director, Nerijus Žukauskas (who is also Vice President of the Aeromodelling Sports Federation of Lithuania, representative of F2 control line model aircrafts) is pleased that Lithuania has decided to organise the World Championships, and that FAI is supporting the record-setting initiative. He also recognised that the organisers faced number of challenges during the planning and implementation processes, with the main one being limited financial recourses. He commented:

    "We want not only to formally organise and conduct the competition in accordance to the minimum requirements, but also to ensure that the event is of a high quality, with enough attention paid not only to the participants, but also to the spectators. All nice ideas, extra activities (eg. the Avia Expo) require additional resources.

    Aeromodelling sports competition and aviation competition in general are not heard about every day. One of our goals is to introduce national and international public to aeromodelling and the F3P class, to explain the competitions rules and encourage people not only to watch but also to try aeromodelling themselves."

    Mr Žukauskas is positive that the event will be highly successful and that participants will enjoy the intense competition in the flying zone, as well as having a good time together. Visitors will also be able to see the Avia Expo in the Arena, which will be open during the whole week of the competition.

    FAI aeromodelling F3P 2023 logo
    Event logo

    How to follow the event

    F3P aeromodelling 2019 Worlds
    F3P aircraft in flight

    Images: Antonis Papadopoulos, CIAM