How to set a Record

Space Modelling Tips

A. First to be in your mind

NEVER VIOLATE RULES AND REGULATIONS neither of your own country nor of a foreign country where you participate as a guest competitor. Ask first to find out what is necessary for making space models and flying them safely.

B. The most important for a spacemodeller


SAPPHIRE Space Models Developing Program

The SAPPHIRE is Spacemodelling development program launched in 1997. It consists of four Work Goups - WG 1- Rules changes and education, WG 2- Aerodynamics, ballistics and ground facilities, WG 3 - Model rocket engines and WG 4 – Publications and Education. Work groups are composed of approximately 40 technical experts from all over the world. They recommend new designs, materials, technical characteristics of models, new measuring equipment and methods etc.

Join the program by sending proposals or asking questions to SM S/C Chairman Srdjan Pelagic, Mise Dimitrijevica 21 apt 17, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia or preferably by e-mail to srdjan.pelagic@gmail.com.

Find out more about the SAPPHIRE Space Models Developing Program.

S1X Calculation Programme


  • We are making available for downloading here the S1X calculation programme. Due to the overall size of the programme, it has been broken down into several parts.
  • This programme runs on Windows. There is no Mac or Linux version available at present.
  • Each part corresponds to the content of one of the directories of the programme.
  • The documents have been ZIP-compressed to reduce their size and therefore your download time. To uncompress the ZIP files, you need a programme such as Stuffit Expander (available for free)
  • After you have downloaded the ZIP files you need, put them in one directory (for example 'C:\S1X' ) and uncompress them. You are then ready to install the programme.
  • If you need any assistance to install or use the programme, send your questions to the CIAM Space Subcommittee or CIAM Space Modelling information list

BIG_BLUE  (31.94 kB)19 August 2011
contests  (11.26 kB)19 August 2011
docs  (127.67 kB)19 August 2011
rockets  (104.39 kB)19 August 2011
S1X  (1.40 MB)19 August 2011
S1X_AC_E  (56.92 kB)19 August 2011
SETUP16  (2.88 MB)19 August 2011
SETUP32  (3.58 MB)19 August 2011

2013 Space Models World Cup Instructions

1. FAI Sporting Code
2. Space Models Competition Classes
3. FAI Sporting Calendar
4. Information Bulletins
5. Standard of Organisation
6. Checking of Sporting Licences
7. Eligible countries
8. Results Tables
9. Jury Report
10. Organisers - Return of Results
11. Current Placing Lists
12. World Cup Diplomas and Medals

1. FAI Sporting Code

FAI Sporting Code, Part 4, Volumes ABR and SM, Edition January 1, 2013 shall be used to organize and conduct Space Models World Cup Events in 2013. They can be downloaded from the Document page.

2. Space Models Competition Classes

Space Models Competition Classes, according the FAI Sporting Code, Section 4, Volume SM, Annex 3 are: S4A, S6A, S7, S8E/P and S9A. Usually after World Cup classes at the same contest are scheduled some other classes like S3A or S1B as Open International – Non World Cup events.

3. FAI Sporting Calendar

The FAI Sporting Calendar for Space Models Events is published at the FAI Event Page.

  1. If you wish to get more details on a specific event click at the title of this event (blue letters).
  2. If you need to do any changes in relation to your event – contact the SM SC Chairman by email.
  3. Important changes if approved shall be published in the FAI Sporting Calendar and also distributed to all World Cup organizers by a Circular Email.
  4. The organizers are not allowed to organize events out of the published FAI Calendar. If such an event is organized it shall neither be ranked according to the FAI rules nor the participants awarded with any World Cup or SMIR (Space Models International Ranking) points.

4. Information Bulletins

Information Bulletins for all World Cup or Open International SM events should contain data on:

  1. Name of the contest,
  2. Venue,
  3. Dates,
  4. Contest Classes,
  5. Jury and Judges,
  6. Entry fee,
  7. Accommodation and Catering,
  8. Time-table,
  9. Awards,
  10. Transportation
  11. Organizer contact details,
  12. Entry form with deadline for application.

Entry form shall contain also:

  1. Name, address of the applicant organisation, mailing address, email address, phones and name of contact person;
  2. List of sportsmen to enter the contest with data:
    1. Name of sportsmen
    2. FAI License Number
    3. Year of birth
    4. Classes to enter
    5. Radio frequencies of the RC equipment
    6. Request for accommodation and food. As a guide how to produce this document you can look at SC4 Volume ABR Annex A.1.b. Information Bulletin should be sent in e-form to the SM SC Chairman and also distributed not later than 30 days before the event.

5. Standard of Organisation

Note that World Cup contests are expected to be run to a high standard. The CIAM Bureau has agreed that events which are not run in accordance to the Sporting Code will not be included in the World Cup for the following year. As a guideline to achieving necessary organization standards may be used FAI SC4 Volume ABR par. B.12 – Space Models.

6. Checking of Sporting Licences

For every competitor the organizer is obliged to check that the Licence is valid for 2013 and record the Licence number prior to beginning of the event.

7. Eligible countries

 Note that just before your event you should check the list of FAI member nations on the FAI Members Page and confirm that all entries you have received are valid.

8. Results Tables

Result tables should contain all necessary data on contest and competitors. These are:

  1. Data on the contest:
    1. Name of the contest
    2. Venue and date 
    3. Class
    4. Weather conditions – air temperature and wind speed. 
  2. Data on competitors:
    1. SURNAME and name (surname comes first and in capital letters)-put (J) behind a junior’s name,
    2. FAI License Number
    3. Country
    4. Results of every round and total. Fly-offs if any. Fly-offs does not enter total.
  3. Contest officials:
    1. Three Jury members
    2. Contest Director and RSO.

The result tables are prepared in Excel (xls format). Pdf or jpg format is not acceptable! Attached is an example of filled results tables from Belarus Cup 2010. You can adapt it for your contest.

Please note that you must supply the FAI Licence numbers of competitors. The CIAM Bureau have agreed that any events not providing FAI Licence numbers with the results may not be considered for inclusion in the World Cup for the following year.

9. Jury Report

The FAI Sporting Code, Section 4, Volume ABR, par. B.4.1 sub.par.3 requires all FAI Jury at CIAM events to submit a report. In order to simplify this task attached is an exemplary Jury Report made on a standard form. This form contains:

  1. Competition and competition classes scheduled;
  2. Date and venue;
  3. Organizer;
  4. Names and nationalities of the FAI Jury members;
  5. Schedule of competition;
  6. Duration of rounds;
  7. Breaks between rounds;
  8. Maximum duration in each round;
  9. Interruptions and delays;
  10. Weather and visibility;
  11. Flight line – changes of position;
  12. Number of flying sites;
  13. Number of competitors per launching site/class;
  14. Local rules or deviations from the Sporting Code;
  15. Alteration of the schedule;
  16. Any additional sporting activity;
  17. Observations on time-keeping and judging;
  18. Comments on ground facilities;
  19. Prize-giving and issue of results
  20. Any incidents or accidents;
  21. Protests;
  22. Comments on accommodation, food, entry fees and other expenses;
  23. Final comments and evaluation of the contest;
  24. Signatures of the Jury members. Jury report shall be prepared in Word (doc format).

10. Organisers - Return of Results

Each SM World Cup Organizer is obliged to send results of his contest to the Chairman of Space Models Subcommittee within three days after the contest has ended (FAI SC Volume SM Annex 2 par. 5). Results must be accompanied with the Jury report.

11. Current Placing Lists

Current Placing Lists shall be prepared by the SM SC Chairman as soon as possible after the results of last held event are received and they shall be distributed to all World Cup Organizers and other interested parties. If the results are received in the prescribed term of three days Current Placing Lists (CPL) shall be distributed within next seven days.

12. World Cup Diplomas and Medals

Official diploma and medals for overall Space Model World Cup winners are presented to winners at the CIAM Plenary meeting in April following the year of their victory. The winner in each class will hold the Official trophy for one year and will receive a medal and diploma. The second and third place flyers in each class will receive diploma.

S - Space Models Competitions

1. What kind of competitions do we have in Spacemodelling?
2. What is the Spacemodelling World Cup?
3. How do we compete and calculate scores?
4. What did we do all these years?
5. What contests shall we have this year?
6. What contests shall we have next year?

1. What kind of competitions do we have in Spacemodelling?

International events are those in which participate sportsmen from at least two countries. There are Open International contests in which all spacemodellers who posses valied FAI sporting license may enter. These contests are only for individual classifications. Limited International contests are those in which competitors are nominated by their NACs for team and individual classifications.

World Championships are limited international contests in which competitors must be nominated by their NACs and are persons or teams from at least four different nations. In Continental Championships competitors also must be nominated by their NACs, but participants must be of at least four different nations from one continent.

Competition Classes for World and Continental SM Championships are:

  • Junior Classes : S1A, S3A, S4A, S5B, S6A, S7, S8D and S9A.
  • Senior Classes: S1B, S3A, S4A, S5C, S6A, S7, S8E/P and S9A.

2. What is the Spacemodelling World Cup?

Spacemodelling World Cup is an individual classification of results from a series of Open International contests during the year. SM WC contests are organized since 1995. SM WC classes are S4A, S6A, S7, S8E/P and S9A. There are 25 SM WC contests in 16 different countries at 3 continents this year. Three best results in each class during the year are counted for final classifications. In case of tie the fourth, fifth etc. best result will be considered to get the winner. The SM WC is coordinated and administered by Srdjan D. Pelagic, dipl.ing., SM SC Chairman. His email is srdjan.pelagic@gmail.com.

3. How do we compete and calculate scores?

In general there are three areas of competition in SM: altitude, time duration and scale.

  • In altitude competition we try to achieve the highest altitude - 1 m of altitude is 1 point, and the best of three flights is taken for final classification.
  • In time duration - 1 second is 1 point and the total of three flights gives the final score. Flights are limited to some maximum time duration. It is for World Championship classes as follows: S3A, S4A, S6A and S9A - 180 sec, for S8D is 360 sec and for S8E/P there is a target time of 360 sec. If there is a tie additional flights ( fly-offs ) shall be made where the maximum flight is 2 minutes longer.
  • In scale models competition there is a table for awarding points for workmanship and flight characteristics.

4. What did we do all these years?

Spacemodelling international contests started in 1965 between Poland and Czechoslovakia. On 28 May 1966 started the first international contest participated by Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, German DR, Poland, Romania, U.S.A. and Yugoslavia. Competitions were in payload altitude, parachute duration and boost glider duration.

The first World Spacemodelling Championships was held in Vrshac (former Yugoslavia, now Serbia) in 1972 and there were 19 World SM Championships organized so far. The first European SM Championshps was organized in Lleida (Spain) in 1979 and there were 15 European SM Championships organized so far. Only continental championships out of Europe was the 1st Open Asian SM Championshps organized in Baikonur (Kazakhstan) in 2007.

5. What contests shall we have this year?

FAI European Championships for Space Models 2013 to be held in Kaspichan (Bulgaria) from 24th to 30th August, 2013 is the greatest SM event this year. It is a tradition to have the Space Models Subcommittee meeting at the end of the Champs when all most important SM issues shall be discussed.

In addition to that there is a series of 25 SM World Cup events to be held in 16 countries at three continents in 5 World Cup classes. These events are sometimes completed with some Open International – non World Cup events. These are competition in classes that are not qualified for World Cup like S3A – Parachute Duration or S1B – Altitude Competition or even S8D – RC Rocket Glider Duration 10-20 Ns. The final World Cup event shall be 35th Ljubljana Cup in Ljubljana (Slovenia) from 11 to 12 October, 2013, that is a real SM festival with participation of people from about 10 – 12 countries.

Detailed information on all Space Models contests in 2013 can be found on the FAI events calendar.

6. What contests shall we have next year?

Next year, the greatest SM event shall be the 2014 FAI World Championships for Space Models to be held in Kaspichan (Bulgaria) from 24th to 31st August, 2014. In addition to that there will be a series of SM World Cups. All contests that shall be qualified for World Cup series 2014 must be registered at the FAI Office BEFORE 15th November, 2013.

S - Space Models

1. What is Spacemodelling?
2. Where do we have Spacemodelling?
3. What is CIAM Space Models Subcommittee?
4. What is a space model?
5. What classes are there in Spacemodelling?
6. What are the construction requirements for Spacemodelling?

7. What engines do we use in Spacemodelling?
8. Where and how to start with Spacemodelling?
9. Where to learn more on Spacemodelling?

1. What is Spacemodelling?


Spacemodelling (SM ) is an airsport, a part of Aeromodelling, that deals with space models. It was invented by two Americans - Harry G. Stine (1928 - 1997), a rocket engineer, known as the “Father of Spacemodelling” and Orvil Carlslile, a shoemaker, in 1957. FAI started with it in 1962. The first, provisional rules were approved by FAI in 1964 and the official rules in 1968. In addition of being an air-sport Spacemodelling is also an applied science, good tools for technical education of young people etc. Spacemodelling is attractive for people whose age ranges from 10 to over 70 years.

2. Where do we have Spacemodelling?

Spacemodelling as an airsport is being practiced in: Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, FYR Macedonia, Moldavia, Romania, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, U.S.A. and Uzbekistan. It was also practiced for a short time in: Norway (1966), Egypt (1972), France (1980 – 90), Azerbaijan (1997), Australia (1980) and Republic of South Africa (2007). Recently, first contacts were made with Brazil, Cyprus, Greece and Sweden. Can you help to have Spacemodelling activities in your country?

3. What is CIAM Space Models Subcommittee?

Space Models Subcommittee (SM S/C) is a technical body of CIAM composed of at least six technical experts (including chairman) all from different countries. It deals with rule changes, technical development of SM and it takes care of international competitions. SM S/C was established in 1962. The first SM S/C chairman was Harry G. Stine - U.S.A. (1962 - 1972). His successors were: Otakar Saffek - CZE (1973-1977 and 1995-1996), Howard Kuhn - U.S.A. (1978 - 1995) and Srdjan Pelagic – SRB - starting 1996. The composition of the Space Models S/C for 2013/2014 can be found here.

4. What is a space model?

A "Space model" is an aero-model that ascends into the air without the use of aerodynamic lifting forces against gravity; that is propelled by means of a space model engine; that includes a device for returning safely to the ground in a condition to fly again; and that is made of substantially non-metalic parts.

5. What classes are there in Spacemodelling?

There are ten main classes of space models.

  • S1 - altitude models,
  • S2 - payload altitude models,
  • S3 - parachute duration models,
  • S4 - boost/glide duration models,
  • S5 - scale altitude models,
  • S6 - streamer duration models,
  • S7 - scale models,
  • S8 - rocket glider duration models,
  • S9 - gyrocopter duration models,
  • S10 - flex wing duration models.

Each class, except class S7, has been subdivided related to engine size. These are Event Classes:

Event class Total impulse
A/2 0,00 - 1, 25 Newton Seconds ( Ns )
A 1,25 - 2,50 Ns
B 2,51 - 5,00 Ns
C 5.01 - 10,00 Ns
D 10,01 - 20,00 Ns
E 20,01 - 40,00 Ns
F 40,01 - 80,00 Ns

In addition to these there are three provisional classes:

  • S6A/P – Streamer target time duration competition
  • S11/P - Rocket powered aircraft and spaceship
  • S12/p – Time duration triathlon tournament.

6. What are the construction requirements for Spacemodelling?

Construction of a space model shall be of wood, paper, rubber, breakable plastics and without substantial metallic parts. Models of classes S1, S2, S3, S6, S9 and S10 must have minimum diameter of 30 mm of enclosed airframe for a length of at least 50 % of the overall body length. In the case of S5 body diameter must be minimum 40 mm for at least of 20 % of overall body length. In case of S1 smallest body diameter, including boat tailing in the back section of the model shall not be less than 18 mm for at least 75% of the overall length of each stage including their back sections.

7. What engines do we use in Spacemodelling?

A space model engine shall be a solid propellant reaction engine that has all propellant ingredients preloaded into the casing in such a manner that they cannot easily be removed. All spacemodelling events shall be divided into sub-classes according the total impuls as follows:

Event class Total impulse
A/2 1, 25 Newton Seconds ( Ns )
A 2,50 Ns
B 5,00 Ns
C 10,00 Ns
D 20,00 Ns
E 40,00 Ns
F 80,00 Ns

8. Where and how to start with Spacemodelling?

Easy! Gather a group of schoolchildren 12 - 13 years old and organize their technical meetings twice a week for two hours. Find some drawing paper to make bodies, balsa sheets of 1-1,5 mm for the fins and some styrofoam for nosecones. You already have general construction requirements - non-metallic parts, length 500 mm and diameter 40 mm. Total area of three or four fins shall be, for beginners, that of 2,5 cross sections of the body. Center of gravity (CG) of the model shall be 0,5 - 1,0 body diameter in front of center of pressure (CP) for that model. You can find roughly center of pressure if you cut a silhouette of the model of cardboard and balance it on the knife edge. To check is your model stabile and safe fix a piece of tread 1-1,5 m long at the center of gravity and rotate it over your head. If it follows trajectory with the nose cone heading forward - the model is stable and you can fly it safely. Buy some fabricated model rocket engines (start with A/2 or A engine class first). We wish you happy and successful flying! Send us a word about it!

9. Where to learn more on Spacemodelling?

You can choose three ways:

  • a) to read spacemodelling books or magazines,
  • b) to ask other spacemodellers for advices and
  • c) to go to spacemodelling competitions to see how the other people is doing that and to try yourself.

A. The sourcebook for Spacemodelling is:
G.Harry Stine: Handbook of Model Rocketry, published by Follet, Chicago 1965.

This book by the “Father of Spacemodelling” had many editions.
The recent one is 7th Edition (Kindle Edition) updated by his son Bill Stine.

The most comprehensive spacemodelling books are between many others:

  • a) For English speaking spacemodellers:
    Stuart Lodge: Model Rocketry - Space Modelling, Traplet Publications 2010
  • b) For Slavic languages speaking spacemodellers:
    Joze Cuden & Rasto Snoj: Raketno Modelarstvo, Tehniska zalozba Slovenije 1991
    in Slovenian with excellent theoretical background and in Russian

    Viktor S. Rozhkoff: Kosmodrom na stole (Cosmodrome on the Table)
    Mashinostroenie, Moscow, 1999.

  • c) The only book on spacemodelling history:
    Prof Ioan Radu – International Spacemodelling – 2011
    published in Romanian and English. Available through the author at
    Radu Ioan astronautica_targoviste@yahoo.com

B. There is a lot of magazines publishig articles on spacemodelling:
American Sports Rocketry (USA), Modelar (Czech Republic ), TIM ( Slovenia ), etc.

C. To ask qualified people the best is to fill in our contact form.



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