A brief overview of rules of recent Japan International Birdman Rally

In this year, the 39 th Japan International Birdman Rally (JIBR) will be held. The competition is one of birdman rallys held in around the world. However the Japanese birdman rally is almost serious competition of aeronautic and athletic. But you do not forget that  for organizer who is TV station the competition is a pure game show but is not educational, academic or engineering event although the participants try to fly very seriously. If you know rules of the competition, you would more enjoy watching the competition. So I try writing a overview of the JIBR rules for your convenience. Please note that the following rules is not official. There is no guarantee that the rules is exactly.

JIBR is a home-built light weight aircraft competition. Recent JIBR is constructed in following three categories of competition.

Glider category
In this category, the participants compete in flight distane with homebuilt aircraft without propeller. Almost aircrafts are fixed wing glider configuration. Ornithopters (flapping wing aircraft) also can be used.

Distance with Human-powerd propeller airplane category (Distance of HPA category)
In this category, the participants compete in flight distance with homebuilt aircraft with propeller driven by pilot muscular power.

Time trial with Human-powerd propeller airplane category (Time trial of HPA category)
In this category, the participants compete in flight time on specified course with homebuilt aircraft with propeller driven by pilot muscular power, which is human-powred airplane.

Common rules
The following rules are applied to all categories.

The “Platform” is a launching deck. The water side end of the platform is height of 10 meters. The length as runway of approximately 10 meters with the descending slope of 3.5 degree.

Take off
Taking off shall be performed by human power which includes pilot’s power and supporters’ power. The supporters are permitted within 3 persons. If the supporters drop into the water, their team shall be disqualified.

Flight area
Flight area is only over the water and landing area is also on the water. Prohibited area over the water are over very shallow water, fishery equipments/ facilities and boats prohibited area and near the lake shore except around the platform.

Pilot shall be 18 years old or older and be able to swim. The other member of his team is not limited by any condition. It means that the competition is not a college/university students competition.

The aircraft shall be a home-built aircraft. The aircraft shall be made to be safety for pilot and other persons (e.g. team members, organizers, rescue staff etc). The aircraft shall be made to be easy to escape for pilot.
Wing span, height, length and weight are not limited. Materials and budgets are also not limited.
Prohibited equipments are lift supporting devices such as a kit, balloon and propulsion devices except pilot-powered.
Any devises shall not be dropped from aircraft.

Weather conditions
It shall be less than wind of 5 m/s. If wind is stronger than 5 m/s and/or other bad conditions such as rain and lighting, competition may be suspended or canceled.

Prior to flight, the participants shall get three qualifications which are airframe plan, safety check and pilot medical check. The airframe plan shall be submitted as a part of application documents. The safety check and pilot medical check are performed for actual machine and pilot in the competition venue.

Organizer authority
The organizer has the authority to change the rules and to punish participants who are inexpedience for the competition and program filming.


Rules specific to distance of HPA category

Measuring over 20 km
In the distance of HPA category, If a HPA fly over 20 km, team shall choose two way of further flight. First they can fly as is. This choise is not needed to turn. But flight distance is limited by opposite shore of the lake, which is approximately 35 km of distance from platform. Second they can turn and back to platform. In this case, the team can try maximum 40 km flight. If the HPA land on water in intermediate of back way, its flight distance shall be defined as 40 km minus distance of land point from platform.

Rules specific to time trial of HPA category

Specified course
For the time trial category, the course is specified. The cource is a out-and-return cource. Turn mark is set on 500 meters from start/finish line. the start/finish line is set on 150-200 meters from platform. Flight time is measured from touching the start line to touching the finish line.


poor English better than Japanese – thank you


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.