The Shootout in Strasbourg - F3P World Championships - RC Groups

The Shootout in Strasbourg - F3P World Championships

Check out this great event coverage provided to RCGroups by Don Szczur! Here is the story and photos from Strasbourg, France.


The F3P World Championships is the single all-out event that matches pilot skill with building finesse.

From Don Szczur:

What do IMAC, pattern and freestyle pilots do during the off season? Indoor flying! This event took place in Strasbourg, France. The planes are incredible.

Here are a few specs:

  • Typical airframe weight: 12-15 grams
  • Motor setup weight 12 grams
  • Props 15 inch (2 each!)
  • Servos 1.5 to 2 grams each
  • Battery: 1S or 2S 100 to 120 mah.
  • Typical all-up ready to fly weight? 35 to 45 grams!

F3P World Championships 2017 - Strasbourg - France - Preliminary Flight 1 - Joseph Szczur (4 min 31 sec)

This week we witnessed some of the best precision flying ever. There were more than 50 pilots. U.S. pilots (Joseph Szczur, Dave Lockhart and Devon McGrath) finished respectably overall and flew very well. Joseph came through with a podium finish, ending up 2nd among all Junior competitors. The Europeans are dominating the precision even, with Gernot Bruckmann, Janne Lappi and Donatas Paouzoulis at the top the overall leader board.

Saturday included a freestyle smackdown. Devin McGrath and Joseph Szczur battled it out with the world’s best for all out, cut loose, freestyle action.

The aeromusical freestyle rounds and demonstration flight was live broadcasted at the F3P World Championships website.

The event was run with four preliminary sequence rounds and two finals sequence rounds.

Freestyle had an interesting twist to the selection of the finalists and winners. The first round was scored by the judges as a traditional freestyle (Aeromuscial) event. The audience was able to rank pilots as well, and the final round to determine the winners utilized this approach. Needless to say the pilots focused on crowd-pleasing and pretty over-the-top elements. For example, Marek Plichta flew not once, but three times through the upper rafters during his last freestyle round. Many pilots had lights, streamers, confetti and reverse pitch VPP for their freestyle rounds. I have not yet seen the aeromusical/freestyle results posted but I believe the final finishing order was : Marek Plichta, Donatas Pauzoulis, and Julien Hecht (winner).

My role in supporting the team, outside of assisting with some of the electronics and control setups on Joseph's F3P and freestyle planes, was to coach Joseph and schedule practice sessions for the team. We actually had an indoor pattern contest back in November at a local rec center field house. We were privileged to have the local DC area free flight group host a team practice session in January and Dave Lockhart scheduled another team practice session in New Jersey in early February.

So as I'm writing this, I realize that I missed eye-witnessing a great event and wish I could have been there to help assist the team. I will definitely plan to attend the next one, especially since I just got a phone call 10 minutes ago from Joseph in London- looks like although the other pilots got through OK, he is stuck there overnight due to delays getting through the security check! Hopefully this short report and pictures can give FlyingGiants and RCGroups viewers a quick snapshot of the event. Dave, Devin and Joseph may dive in and add additional content as they make their way back to the US and settle in.

The FAI organizers, with input from pilots and team managers, are already working to finalize proposed sequences and expanding the aeromusical event to make this the premier indoor aerobatics event in the world for the next world championships in 2019. As soon as that venue and location is selected, pilots will begin preparing for that competition from around the world.


Pictures courtesy of Joseph Szczur and the FAI event organizer live broadcast video.

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Feb 28, 2017, 09:35 AM
I just wanna fly, fly, fly
Brainstorm's Avatar
Thanks to Don for the fantastic writeup!

I knew about the indoor 3D foamies. But I didn't realize how slow and gentle they are. Almost like Free Flight models. These quiet indoor performances are mesmerizing and peaceful to watch. Especially the "aeromusical" event sounds intriguing. I hope that a recording of Marek Plichta flying through the rafters eventually makes its way online. (I searched Youtube, but didn't find any aero-musical performances from Strasbourg 2017.)

I wonder if we'll ever see 3D events like this for multi-rotors? FPV racing has obviously eclipsed LOS acro flight in popularity. However, I think more deliberately planned 3D programs flown with a low disc-load quadcopter could be a nice challenge for pilots, and entertaining for spectators. Makes me want to hide away my underused FPV gear, and focus exclusively on (slow and deliberate) LOS acro practice.
Feb 28, 2017, 09:45 AM
Registered User
Sierra_bravo's Avatar
Wow, congratulations to all the U.S. pilots who flew in the event and their team. I have to ask since I can't tell to well from the video but is Joseph flying a balsa aircraft?
Feb 28, 2017, 11:48 AM
Registered User
joliecoeur13's Avatar
that's cool Strasbourg is the city I'm from !
Feb 28, 2017, 07:25 PM
Registered User
Yes Joseph designed and built his plane out of balsa. I assisted with boron attachment on the main fuselage stringers (right and left) and some of the wiring (like wire is pretty thin stuff - probably about as thick as a piece of paper). Joseph developed the plug-in wings which were pretty amazing (wing held to the fuselage with two pieces of sewing thread). Devin used his own design carbon- mylar design and Dave used a stock F3P designed kit from Donatas.
Mar 02, 2017, 08:26 PM
Registered User
US Team and their planes.
Mar 02, 2017, 08:37 PM
Registered User
Another video- this one from Jurgen. Thanks!

WCH F3P-AP 2017 Joseph Szczur (4 min 2 sec)
Last edited by etocstacks; Mar 02, 2017 at 08:51 PM.
Mar 02, 2017, 08:42 PM
Registered User

WCH F3P-AP 2017 Gernot Bruckmann (4 min 33 sec)
Mar 02, 2017, 08:45 PM
Registered User
Through the rafters.... Marek flying freestyle. There is also a long (several hour) video on youtube from live broadcast which has all freestyle flights, but perhaps some individual flight videos will be posted as well.
Last edited by etocstacks; Mar 02, 2017 at 08:52 PM.
Mar 02, 2017, 08:49 PM
Registered User
James Millson from Canada- youngest pilot there, I believe.

WCH F3P-AP 2017 James Millson (3 min 10 sec)
Mar 06, 2017, 07:26 PM
Registered User
I watched as much as I could on the live stream. Even though they all made it look so effortless the amount of concentration and precision was astounding.

I will admit I was somewhat biased as one of the members of my local club was competing, and for his first ever international event he gave a very commendable performance finishing 26 overall.



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