Air Navigation Racing (ANR)

The Sport of ANR was trialled at the World Air Games in Dubai in 2015.  Since then there have been a couple of revisions to the format and rules.  September 2017 will see the inaugural World Championships of ANR which will be held in Castellon, Spain.  The BPPA will also be organising the inaugural UK Championships of ANR to be held in August 2017.

ANR is flown as a 2 man crew with all aircraft flying over an identical route with a time separation between each aircraft. One member of the crew must be a qualified pilot whilst the other assists with navigating, safety lookout, timekeeping and moral support !! Competitors declare a competition airspeed they want to fly their aircraft at.  This allows the competition director to order the aircraft in order of fastest aircraft first and also allows a calculation of how long each aircraft should take to fly the course. There is a start point and an finish point which competitors must cross at a nominated time.  These points are about 30nm apart and between them is a zigzag style course with a nominated corridor width. The corridor width used can vary from 0.5nm down to 100 metres and is set by the competition director. Crews must fly the course as accurately as possible trying to remain within the corridor.  Each aircraft carries a GPS tracker allowing the crew’s flight to be downloaded and overlaid on the competition course.  Penalty points are given for every second early/late at the start and finish points and for every second the crew fly outside the nominated corridor.  The winning crew is the one with the least penalty points.

Pre flight the crews must plot the course on their map and then using wind information work out the required headings and timings for each leg of the zigzag route.  Although it should be a case of primarily using visual navigation techniques to fly the course, having headings and timings is a useful backup aid.  Crews get airborne at a nominated time and fly towards the start point.  There will be sufficient time allowed to allow crews to arrive at the start point and identify it and possibly having to carry out some form of hold pattern to enable them to cross the start point on time and on track.  As mentioned previously visual navigation should enable the crew to fly on track and remain within the corridor.  However, using the timings at the turns of the zigzag enable the crew to ascertain whether they are flying on time to make the nominated finish point time and a speed adjustment can be made if necessary to rectify the timings.

After crossing the finish point the crew fly back to the airfield where they must conduct a scored spot landing. Touching down on the 2 metre wide landing line will incur zero penalties but penalties will be awarded for every metre under or overshot from the “zero line”. After landing the crew will hand in the GPS logger and be debriefed on their flight.

 

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