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It's Time to Sign Up for the Heavy Lift STE(A)M Challenge!

Heavy-Lift Challenge Logo

The AMA is a collection of model aviation enthusiasts who build and fly model aircraft of all sizes for fun and competition. The Heavy Lift Challenge is one such competition!

The challenge calls for the use of a Horizon Hobby AeroScout S 1.1m

Each team, which consists of 2 to 4 youth members from grades 6 to 12, will engineer a payload carrying and deliver mechanism. The goal is to engineer your Horizon Hobby AeroScout model aircraft to carry the greatest volume of water possible. Students participating in the competition must be AMA members.

Teams can expect to learn plenty of knowledge, including the fundamentals of flight, aviation safety, and meteorology. They will be able to apply knowledge of aerodynamic principles, weight and balance, atmospherics, wind, humidity, the importance of safety inspections and the safe handling of hazardous materials.

One benefit to participation in the Heavy Lift Challenge is that you can compete anywhere! Submissions for this competition are based around both video and text that demonstrate what specifics of the challenge the teams met.

Thanks to the AMA Foundation’s generous support of the Education team’s goals, for this year’s program we were able to implement a radical reduction in registration fees; the 2023 Heavy-Lift Challenge will cost only $99.99 for all teams looking to participate. If a sponsor has more than one team, any team after the original team will cost half the registration fee! The cost of registration includes access to AMA Ground School Curriculum. However, the purchase of the required AeroScout model is not included in the cost of registration. Registration for Heavy Lift closes on April 1, 2023.


Submissions to the competition are due by May 1, 2023, and completion of all Ground School coursework is required to participate.

And there are other benefits to competing, besides all the knowledge you'll have access to; there's also up to $3,000 of prize money available. The award amounts for first, second, and third place will be determined based on registration turnout.

If you are interested in competing and you have any questions, reach out to the AMA Education Team at [email protected]. We can't wait to see you fly!