TSA participants in the Research and Design event are required to design, draw, and build a CO2-powered vehicle. Design, speed, craftsmanship, and a drawing of the vehicle are The primary elements judged.


The purpose of the Research and Design event is to provide a means for TSA members to demonstrate their ability to design, draw, and build a product within. a rigid set of specifications. (Tolerances are built in with the minimum and maximum measurements.)


Entries are limited to two per chapter.


Participants must present drawing and vehicle at the time specified in the conference program and must remove the drawing and vehicle at the lime specified in the conference program.


A. All entries must be turned in at the designated time. Each participant will be responsible for obtaining time schedule at registration.

B. All entries must be delivered free of needed repair and/or maintenance at time of check-in.

C. CO2 cartridges will be provided by LTSA.

D. Every entry must be submitted with a full size metric drawing of the completed vehicle. A two-view (top and side) drawing with metric dimensions shall be made on 11" x 17" drawing paper. A three-view (top, side, and end) drawing is acceptable but will not change point allocations. Standard engineering procedures/practices should be followed. Drawings may be made using ink or graphite. Originals, blueprints, copies or CAD will be accepted. The title block will only include "Entry Number," which will be assigned at registration time and placed on the entry prior to turn-in. (Refer to Figure 1 for Title Block suggestion.)


  1. 1. Power plant hole - 20mm diameter, 51mm deep, and drilled parallel to bottom surface. A minimum of 3mm thickness around entire power plant hole must he maintained on all vehicles for safety purposes.
  2. 2. The body of the model shall be one-piece, all-wood construction, and no parts such as body strengtheners, fenders, plastic canopy, exhausts, or air foils may be attached to or enclosed within the vehicle. Bearings and lubricants may be used in construction. Two or more like or unlike pieces of wood glued together will not be considered one-piece, all-wood construction.(See note U8, page 89)
  3. 3. Specific tolerances MIN MAX
a. a. Axle diameter (refer to Note #1) 3 mm 3 mm
b. Axle length 42 mm 70 mm
c. Axle bearing diameter 3.5 mm 4.5 mm
d. Axle hole diameter 3.5 mm 4.5 mm
e. Axle hole above bottom 3.5 mm 9 mm
f. Axle hole from 9 mm 100 mm
g. Spacer bearing diameter 7 mm 9 mm
h Vehicle body length (refer to Note #2) 200 mm 305 mm
i. Vehicle body height with wheels 75 mm  
j. Vehicle body mass with wheels without C02 54 g 170 g (refer to Note #3)
k. Vehicle body width at axles, front and back 35 mm 42 mm __(refer to Note #4)
l. Power plant hole depth 51 mm 52 mm
m. Power plant safety zone thickness, total housing 3 mm (refer to Figure 2)
n. Power plant chamber diameter 19 mm 20 mm
o. Power plant location-C/L from body bottom 31 mm 35 mm
p. Screw eye diameter (refer to Note #5) 3 mm 5 mm
q. Screw eye spacing-distance apart 155 mm 270 mm
r. Wheels, front diameter 32 mm 37 mm
s. Wheels, front width at greatest diameter, 15 mm 18 mm full circumference
t. Wheels, rear diameter (refer to Note #6) 30 mm 40 mm
u. wheels, rear width at greatest diameter, 15 mm 18 mm (refer to Note #7 and Figures 3, 4, and 5)
v. wheelbase 105 mm 270 mm

A. Vehicles will be disqualified which fail to meet the specifications listed in Section E.

B. Wheels must be made entirely from plastic.

C. All event entries will be judged according to the Research and Design Rating Sheet which includes criteria for drawing, design, race, speed, etc.

D. No repair or maintenance on entries will be allowed after entries have been registered. Any entry damaged during the race will be judged by the event coordinator to determine whether or not the vehicle will be allowed to race again. In the event that the vehicle is damaged by conference personnel, the event coordinator will make a ruling as to whether or not the vehicle may be repaired by the student entering the vehicle. This is the only reason a STUDENT would be allowed to touch his/her vehicle after registration. Undamaged wheels which come off during the event may be replaced as determined by the event coordinator. Damaged wheels may not be replaced.

E. The length of the dragstrip (track) shall be 20 meters (65' - 71/2").


A. Participants will register with event coordinator at the time designated by the competitive events coordinator. (Sec Conference Program.)

B. Instructions and event timelines provided at registration will be followed. It will be the responsibility of each participant to obtain these for each conference.

C. Time trials will be run in which each vehicle's official rank time/placing is established.

D. Based upon the time trial placing, the fastest 16 vehicles that meet Section IV, E. specs will compete in a double elimination bracket to determine final placing in the speed portion of the event.


A. Event coordinator

  1. Judges - three or more per Level
  2. Two persons assigned to check in and receive entries
  3. Person assigned for security
  4. Room must be securable for equipment and entries. Size must accommodate a 20-meter track and equipment. Two rooms optional one per level.
  5. Tables and chair for judges
  6. Tables for entries (at least six 2' x 8' tables)
  7. 20-meter track with Start gates and timers

B. CO2 cartridges - two per entry, plus spares on-site

C. Appropriate safety equipment for finish line personnel




1. Plastic axles such as delrin may be used in competition. However, design elements regarding impact, etc., should be considered when engineering the vehicle.

2. Some student designers/engineers feel that shorter vehicles are faster. However, national event results prove that vehicle length is generally not the determining factor.

3. Vehicle body mass includes the complete vehicle with wheels, etc., but does not include the C02 cartridge.

4. A vehicle could be engineered to include a width of 42mm at the front axle and 35mm at the rear axle or vice versa, or any distance between the tolerances.

5. The eyelet of the screw eye should be closed tightly to prevent the line from coming out of the screw eye during the race. On very softwoods, the designer/engineer may wish to reinforce the screw eye's hold in the wood with glue.

6. A vehicle must have four wheels two which comply with IV.E.2.r,s and two which comply with IV.E.2.t,u tolerances. The wheels may be placed in position(s) to create the effect of a two-, three-, or four-wheel vehicle. The wheels must remain independent of each other, (i.e., must not be glued together) and must roll.

7. The wheel's surface contact is the point of measurement. (Refer to figures 3 or 4 on the next page.) Front wheels must be the same diameter and the rear wheels must match each other's diameter. (See Figure 6, next page.) Wheels on same axles must be the same diameter.

8. Fiberglass or shrink-wrap contact cannot be used on car body.

Research and Design



A. Official Rating Forms

B. Event guidelines for the coordinator and the judges

C. Competitive Events Personnel and Participant Envy List

D. Official Vehicle Time Sheet

E. Double Elimination Bracket Chart/Overhead Projector

F. Results Envelope


A. Secure the initials of all judges on the competitive event summary sheet after they have all reviewed it.Through the discussion process, the judges shall break my ties that affect the top three placements.

B. Check the contents of the coordinator's envelope.

C. Review the limitations, regulations, and procedures.

D. Distribute the judges' materials.

E. Review the limitations, regulations, and procedures with the judges and assist during the judging.

F. Collect and position the Research and Design drawings and cars for viewing by the judges and assist the judges during the judging of the Design, Drawing, and Construction categories.

G. After testing all race worthy can in the time trials - judges verify that the top 16 finalists in both levels meet Section E specifications - eliminate entry's not meeting specs move lower qualifying cars up until 16 legal cars on other levels have been determined. - Each car is to be timed in the same lane, one at a time. Cars are to be timed only once; thus, it is very important that each car is positioned m the starting gate as well as possible. If, in the opinion of the judges, a car misfires or a timing error occurs, the race may be rerun. - The operator's preliminary times are to be recorded on the Official Vehicle Time Sheet. Each vehicle is to be ranked according to fastest time first, second fastest time second, and so on. The top 16 cars that meet specs will be run in the finals. Their times will not be a factor in their final placement with the exception of positioning them in the brackets of the Double Elimination Bracket Chart. All can ranked 17th or lower shall be awarded points in the RACE category of the event according to the chart below: 17th Place - 24th Place 25 points 25th Place - 32nd Place 2O points All others below 32nd Place 10 points

H. Position the top 16 cars in the Double Elimination Bracket by placing the fastest car in bracket 1, the second fastest car in bracket 2, and so on. - Station one judge at the starting gate to check to see that all can are positioned in the starting gate as well as possible. If the judge feels there is any sort of a misfire, a rerun can be ordered. - Position one judge at the finish gate to rule on the finish of a race in case of failure of the finish lights or any close finish. If the judge feels there is any sort of timing error, a rerun may be ordered.

I. Secure the judges' signatures on their rating sheets.

J. Using the result envelope provided, submit to the competitive event coordinator:

1. Competitive Events Personnel and Participant Entry List

2. Official Rating Form

K. At the designated time, return the can and drawings to the student owners after the 16 semifinalist have been removed for display.

L. If at all possible, risers should he available to let the audience view the finals better.





Design Appearance. 3 points max.

FinishÉ. 3 points max.

Drawing Accuracy 10 points max.

Neatness 2 points max. Dimensions 2 points max. Points to point contact 2 points max. Line Thickness 2 points max. Irregular Curves 2 points max. Construction Craftsmanship, etc. 2 points max. Race 1st place 60 points 2nd Place 56 points 3rd Place 52 points 4th Place 48 points 5th & 6th Place 45 points 7th & 8th Place 40 points 9th thru 12th Place 35 points 13th thru 16th Place 30 points 17th thru 24th Place 25 points 25th thru 32nd Place 20 points All other finishers 10 points Penalty Points Total 100 points max. I certify these results to be true and accurate to the best of my knowledge and ability. _________________________ Evaluator's Signature