Engines for Contest Flying - As you know from the Safety Code, for General flying (sport flying) , you need to use certified engines.
Well, for Contest flying, the engines need to meet a few more specs. But basically any engines that pass testing for overall certification usually also meet the specs for contest certification (up to G class, at 62.5 grams propellant). A key element of the granting of Contest Certification is that the engines are widely available.
Essentially, engines lose their Contest Certification about a year or so after they have gone out of production. This is to be fair to all competitors - it would not be good for some competitors to have a hoard of out of production high-performance engines that they could use for years, while everyone else would be at a competitive disadvantage using only the in-production engines that were available.
So, how can you find out if an engine is Contest Certified?
Go to the NAR website, for a list of engines approved for consumer use in the US.
Engines on the above list which have a superscript "C" at the end of the "Type" code means they are Contest Certified.
If they do not have the superscript "C" at the end, they are not Contest Certified.
In the example below, showing two types of 18mm Estes "C" engines, note that one engine type is contest certified, and the other is not:
| Dimensions (mm) || Type || || |
| 18 x 70 || |
| || |
| 18 x 70 || C6-0,3,5,7C || || |
The Estes C6 ends with a superscript "C", so it is Contest Certified.
But the Estes C5-3 does not end with a "C", so it is not Contest Certified.
The C5-3 is out of production, that is why it is not Contest Certified anymore. The "5" at the end is a code indicating that it will also lose certification for General (sport flying) use at the end of 2005.