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Judging and Scoring

How to become a
true world champion

By: Lars Görean Arvidsson, Chief Judge VAWC 2016/2017, Chairman of the jury VAWC 2019/2021)

First of all let me state that I am honored to be asked to head the judging line of the third Vintage Aerobatic World Championship.. I am really looking forward to seeing the most beautiful manoeuvres flown in the romantic historic airplanes, elegantly handled by their brave and talented pilots! In my many (MANY) years I have been involved in the aerobatic sport – judging some of the best pilots in the world – I have only seen 2 perfect loops. Loops worthy of the rare score 10. Loops which is entered and finished in the exact same altitude, which is absolutely circular round, which have a steady pitch rate all the way round and flown absolutely parallel to the judging line. Wow. Let me se that from you! But remember that you have to compensate from the wind-factor… so the loop looks perfect from my point of view!

Do not be too worried, as I said…nobody can do a perfect loop. (I challenge you!!! ϑ). Expanding the one manoeuvre to a full program of manoeuvres:

Here the positioning in front of the judges is crucial. Lines across the “competition box” (edged by a line parallel to the judging line) needs to be 90dg to the judging line. Every manoeuvre must be separated by a short (or long) horizontal line. All programs must be initiated and finished with three clearly visible wing-dip. Just to wake up the judging line.. and to put us a sleep again. Please remember this. It will give the impression that you are ready and in control…

Zooming in on the different manoeuvres, and building on above, this is what I will be looking for… to give you the rare score of 10 … Zooming in on Performance Team flight (formation) we will have special judges on this beautiful and difficult dicipline.

Summing up: Please read through the “VAWC-Spirit and Rules” Document

Judging areas


As described above

Wing over

Pitch and roll in harmony. Wings vertical at the top. Pitch rate constant before/after the top

Barrel roll

Pitch and roll in harmony flying a horisontal “barrel”. Start and end-heading the same and parallel to the judging line.


Quarter roll UP in each segment and within the four segment. 90dg turn pr. segment. Pitch and roll in harmony. Start and finish at same heading, parallel to the judging line.

Cuban eight

Looping-segments round. Looping segments in same radius. Half-rolls positioned at mid-line down, Half rolls on course and with constant roll rate. Half rolls stopped after precisely 180 dg.

180 dg horizontal turn

From level and horizontal flight roll briskly to 60 degree bank maintain 60 degree and turn 180 degree roll briskly to level and horizontal flight

Top roll

Circular looping segment. Half roll positioned and … adjusted with roll rate… so you will end up flying horizontal straight and level just after the top of the loop. On line with presentation aksis of course.

4 point roll

Horizontal line (or as close you can get). Four segments of the roll: 1) 90dg, 2) 180 dg, 3) 270 dg, 4) 360 dg. Same roll rate with in the roll segments. Same roll rate in all segments. On the line.


Constant roll rate. Horizontal line..(or as close you can get)(Engine coughing allowed)


Scoring principles for the competition flights: Aresti scoring system, manoeuvres 70% (Subject to “powerbalancing” for replicas, see below) Positioning in front of the judges 10% Rhythm and showmanship 10% Safety attitude 10% (however possible abandoning the pilot if the flying is UNSAFE)

– Zero penalty for breaking for height, re-climb and restart. However, you will of cause loose point in the “rhythm and positioning score”.
– Manoeuvres flown behind the judging line is zeroed.

Scoring principle for the performance:

All attending pilots and judges will be the judges. Three score categories each: “Flight Harmony and Romance” (20% weight), “Piloting Skills” (60% weight), “Creative flight concept” (creative expression, program design, music etc.)(weight 20%). Score-Sings (1-10) will be raised by each of the pilots/judges….just after each flight. One for each of the three scores categories.

Low penalty

To make VAWC a safe event following higth limitations (AGL) will be applied: Looping the Loop: 1500 feet. Dancing the CloverLeaf: 1000 feet. Rolling the circle: 500 feet. 10% penalty in total points for flying 100 feet below low limit. Below this, your flight will be “zeroed”. Stay safe, stay high!


In order not to kill the winning potential of the original vintage planes, we have decided to balance the typical power-advantage of the replicas. Be it a high powered Bücker or KZ8 replica… or?? Keeping it simple we forget propellers etc. and stick to horse power ratio compared to the original. Actual % power increase compared to the vintage original will be compensated by reducing the total scores according to below range: < 10% power increase => 0% score reduction 10-30% power increase => 5% score reduction 30-50% power increase => 10% score reduction 50% < power increase => 15% score reduction. The definition of “The Vintage Original” is as follows: A factory build version of the type build and certified before 1955.
NB: “The Performance” flight and scoring is not subject to this PowerBalancing.

Vintage Balancing Bonus

Since the original Vintage Airplanes are competing with as well radically more modern Classic airplanes as effective replicas we have decided to balance the fairness. We all know that you need to take more care of the vintage structure and engines to keep them flying safely into the future and this may limit the way you fly you programme. Thus we will add 10% bonus to the scoring total of the “programme fligths”. (not The Performance / The Performance Team)

Number of flights

We aim to have each pilot fly 2 flights (+ The Performance). In categories “Looping The Loop” and “Dancing the Cloverleaf” pilots will fly the known program twice. In “Rolling the Circle” pilots will fly one known- and one unknown flight. If weather is against us the World Champions can be announced after only one flight (all pilots).