----- The home of Electric Thermal Soaring in the UK ----- FAI F5J and BMFA eSoaring height limited RC thermal soaring glider contests for beginners and experts alike

This site is for promoting FAI F5J and BMFA eSoaring - electric R/C thermal soaring competitions that use flight recorders, controlling Motor run timers or Height Limiting devices. These events are fun, a good test of thermaling skills, and do not require an expensive model, powertrain or winches.

BMFA Approved Height Limiter switches are available from HERE

Martin Bell mastered this very nice introductory video into eSoaring.


BMFA eSoaring & F5J Events – a quick introduction.


If you own any electric powered glider then you can join in the fun ! Events are run at many locations throughout the UK and split into classes to suit everyone from newcomers to accomplished thermal soaring competitors.

OPEN Class - Any electric powered glider up to 4 metres wingspan.

2 Metre Class - Any electric powered glider up to 2 metres wingspan.

Basic Flying Rules:

In eSoaring, the aim of the competition is to achieve a 10 minute flight time from a maximum launch height of 200 metres (eSoaring), or, in F5J events, a launch height of your choice. Extra points are awarded for landing at the end of the flight within a 10 m radius landing target. With F5J events a penalty relating to actual launch height is also factored into the scoring system. i.e. the higher you launch the lower your score!

The motor-on launch time, up to a maximum of 30 seconds, is included in the total flight time and competitions are flown in “slots”, with several pilots flying at the same time. In each slot, the competitor with the highest score (flight + landing bonus, (less launch height penalty in F5J), receives 1000 points. Competitors with lower scores are then awarded a proportion of the winner’s score - i.e., score x 1000/winner’s score.

Competing is GREAT FUN and an excellent way to meet other like-minded modellers and greatly improve your modelling knowledge and flying skills. Everyone involved is very enthusiast about electric gliders and newcomers are always given as much help as they need. You can enter any event, (turn up on your own if you wish), and be guaranteed a great day out.

What sort of model do I need?

The eSoaring competition class has been specifically developed to suit a wide range of electric powered Radio Controlled model gliders. We have model flyers competing with anything from very simple and inexpensive

rudder / elevator models of 1.5 metres wing span to 4 metre wingspan “full house” gliders.

Can everyone compete on an equal footing?

With eSoaring, the key to the success of the class is the very simple limit placed on the initial launch height of the model - irrespective of model size, weight or power level used. 200 metres is NOT high enough to enable a 10 minute flight without thermal assistance, and so the pilots skill in seeking out and using thermal lift becomes essential if the ten minute maximum flight time is to be achieved.

F5J on the other hand, is centred more on trying to achieve a 10 minute flight from the lowest possible launch height. In both eSoaring & F5J events, the best pilots, who can effectively seek out and use thermal assistance, usually win the contests.

How is the launch height controlled and measured?

Specially designed altimeter switches are used to automatically cut the electric drive motor so that the model completes its launch phase at the set height, (eSoaring, normally 200m). With F5J the same AMRT (Altimeter Motor Run Timer), is used simply to measure and record the actual height to which the pilot decides to launch. The tiny switch is fitted in series with the receiver motor control output channel and the speed controller input.

If you are interested and would like to know more just ask!

The best way is to go to the Web site and discussion forum at www.esoaring.net/forum/. This web site contains most of the answers to any questions you may want to ask. However, you will learn an awful lot more just be attending an event where you will see competitors flying really inexpensive ready built foam models right up to specialised fully moulded competition electric soarers.

For information about the AMRT’s contact Bernie Jones via his web site HERE

NOTE: AMRT’s are always available at competitions for loan to newcomers, so there is no need to buy a unit until you have actually experienced a competition for yourself.


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