RC Soaring is flown by different classes of sailplanes or gliders. These aircraft are towed aloft by 12-volt electric winches. They have no other form of propulsion. The winches have a great deal of power and, depending on the aircraft, a launch height of 500 to 600 feet can be obtained. Competitors fly in rounds. Each round has a different task associated with it, and each has a flight task and a landing task. Most flight tasks are based on some form of precision flight time (seven minutes, plus or minus, from the time of winch line disconnect to contact with the ground). The closer the landing is made to the target time, the more points are awarded. Landing targets an exact spot; the closer to the spot, the more points gained. Typically, 10 sailplanes will launch at the same time. Sailplane classes are divided by the size of the aircraft. Smaller aircraft can fly in classes allowing larger aircraft. The winner is determined by the total number of points obtained.
The first day of soaring competition is at an off-site location.