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Registration for the Heavy-Lift Challenge 2024 Season is OPEN!


Now that we have officially reached fall, it’s time to start looking ahead to the 2024 season of the AMA Heavy-Lift Challenge! Last year, the AMA Education team was thrilled to see a 300% increase in participation with this exciting program and we can’t wait to see the entries for this year!


To recap, the Challenge itself is straightforward. Your team will assist with local wildfire response efforts by modifying a Horizon Hobby S 2 1.1 AeroScout to deliver as much water as possible. To accomplish this, you will need to make engineering changes to the airframe itself as well as a robust, removable payload delivery mechanism. You will employ the knowledge of flight fundamentals, meteorology, and aviation safety gained through the AMA’s Ground School training module, in which you will be enrolled upon registration.

Teams will consist of 2 to 4 individuals in grades 6-12 and must additionally be sponsored by an assigned adult member. Once you’ve registered, your team will receive a detailed rulebook laying out the specifics of the Challenge, and are encouraged to begin designing, engineering, and testing whenever possible!

The $199 registration fee 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 the AMA Heavy-Lift Challenge closes on April 1, 2024.

Of course, this is a competition with prizes as well! Up to $10,000 of prize money is available, with the award amounts for first, second, third, etc., to be determined based on registration turnout. The more teams competing, the better!

All registrants must be AMA members. (If you’re not already a member, joining is quick and easy at Registrants must also complete the AMA Ground School coursework in order to participate.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the AMA Education team at [email protected] at any time and we’d be happy to help you out! We’re very excited to share the AMA Heavy-Lift Challenge with you and are looking forward to seeing who rises to meet it this coming year.