A new reality: the first worldwide remote spacemodeling contest

15 Sep 2020
World Space Modeling Virtual Open Meet

Virtual competitions are a completely new competition format in spacemodeling. Until this year, no one considered the possibility of such competitions. Due to the postponing of most international competitions, especially the 2020 World Space Modeling Championships and a full slate of World Cup competitions, the World Air Sports Federation (FAI) has introduced a web-based contest – World Space Modeling Virtual Open Meet.

An extra perk was that the competition was not only for those with an international FAI license but also for amateurs and beginners in spacemodeling.

The competition involved six classes of models:

S2/P – precision fragile payload

S4A – rocket glider duration

S6A – streamer duration

S7 – scale (simplified judging)

S8D – R/C rocket glider duration

S9A – gyrocopter duration

It is difficult to imagine online competitions without an automated results system. Consequently, our American colleagues employed the CupNavigator platform developed by Noosphere, a partner of the Spacemodeling Sport Federation of Ukraine. CupNavigator established its effectiveness during the 2015 and 2019 European Championships and the 2016 World Championship.

The sports classes S2/P, S4A, S6A, S8D and S9A had a simple format. Participants had to make three flights, record time, and report data to the organizers. Ranking in these classes was based on mutual trust among participants, judges, and organizers. As the conditions of the competition did not prohibit group flights, the sportsmen from Ukraine used results from the Ukrainian Championship.

As a result, Ukrainian sportsmen received full sets of medals in the classes:


1st place – Maksym Lavrynenko

2nd place – Oleksandr Radchenko

3rd place – Andrii Skorokhod


1st place – Serhii Serdiukov

2nd place – Andrii Skorokhod

3rd place – Yurii Kazak


1st place – Serhii Sidorenko

2nd place – Heorhii Lipskyi

3rd place – Vladyslav Chyzh

The most difficult class in terms of organization and staging was the S7 class. As in the offline championships, judging was conducted by five independent judges. For the S7 class, the competition was divided into two stages. The first was about scoring photos, and the second was evaluating the flight from a video. Medals in this class were awarded as follows:

1st place – Sergiy Trush, Ukraine

2nd place – Andriy Prymushko, Ukraine

3rd place – Marc McReynolds, USA

You can watch photos and videos of the flights on the official competition website or in CupNavigator. All results of online competitions are available at the link.

The winner of the scale model class Sergiy Trush – Master of Sports of Ukraine, long-term member of the Ukrainian national team, multiple winner of national competitions in the scale model class – shared his impressions of the first remote competitions in space modeling.

Sergiy, how long have you been doing space modeling?

I started modeling in 1999, when was in the 5th grade. Then there were quite a lot of different technical classes for kids.

Which classes are most interesting to you?

Of course, the S7 replica models are the most interesting and spectacular class. If you want to achieve the highest results, you need to spend several years building a competitive model. But I also really like the altitude models S5 and the sports classes S3 (parachute rocket model) and S4 (rocket glider model).

What do you think about the competition’s new format?

Very unusual competition format, but interesting. It was useful for the judges to analyze and compare the replica models on the basis of photos and video of the flight. It is also worth mentioning that sports classes were reliant on the virtue of athletes, and this is sometimes lacking in competitions.

In modern conditions and with modern technologies, virtual competitions can have a qualitative continuation. It is likely that devices will appear in the near future that will automatically record the flight time of the models. This will greatly simplify such competitions in classes, recording the duration of the flight.

What difficulties did you encounter in the online competitions?

Apparently, you need to record a flight video that is as visible as possible at all stages of the flight.

How has spacemodeling sport been a good impact on your life?

Thanks to such small rockets, I was able to travel around many wonderful countries, learn about their culture and traditions, and make friends all over the world.

Sergiy, what are your sports plans for the near future?

Successfully perform at the 2021 World Championships for the title of Master of Sports of Ukraine, international class.