Exciting Heavy Lift Challenge 2023 Update!

Heavy Lift Challenge Logo
Heavy Lift Challenge Logo

The Heavy Lift Challenge is a STE(A)M Challenge created by the AMA to engage young members, and we here at AMA have an exciting update on the competition!

Just in case you aren’t familiar with the Heavy Lift Challenge, here’s a quick summary:

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

Participants will be enrolled in our Ground School course, where they will 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.

Now, time for the exciting update!

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!

This registration costs covers entry into the competition and enrollment into the Ground School Course for all participants on a team. This cost does not cover the purchase of the necessary aircraft.

While the price has changed, it’s important to note that deadlines have not! The deadline to register for this competitions April 1, 2023, and virtual submissions to the competition are due by May 1, 2023.

If you’ve been on the fence about participating in this competition, now’s the time to take flight and take the challenge!

For any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Education Team at education@modelaircraft.org. We are looking forward to hearing from you!


  1. I think this is a great project but I am reading about today 21 March 2023. But sign up is 4 April 2023. That’s just 2 weeks to deal with a school system, that’s unrealistic! Maybe my local club will be able to setup a school team for next year.

    1. Regis, We’ve had some individuals sign up and then get reimbursed by the administration afterwards. Whatever we can do to help let us know. It really is a great competition with a TON to learn, we’re so appreciative that we’ve been able to reduce the costs so drastically!

  2. This is a super cool idea and hope this is scheduled again for next year. Maybe change the model to keep things interesting.

    1. Hi Jeff!

      Thanks for your comment! While all teams begin with the Aeroscout frame, the fun part of the competition is to see engineering solutions! Teams modify their airframes to get the best lifting capacity with the stock electronic components.

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