Triple ACE X10

So What is Flight Archery

Flight archery is about shooting for pure distance. Longest shot wins.

I became intrigued by this when customers started asking me for very light weight points, so in 2011 I decided to have a go myself, and have been hooked ever since. It is very much a technical challenge as well as a shooting one.

There is very little information on this form of archery on the web or anywhere else for that matter, so I thought I would add some background, and my personal view on a days shoot.

There were only three competitions in the UK in 2013, all shot on old airfields ideally with a kilometre plus of range. For 2014 we will have 4 competions with the addition of Penrith.

A flight competition comprises of 4 ends of six arrows. Up to 4 classes can be shot. All bows are checked for draw weight before shooting.

There are many classes that can be shot. The list blow is what is currently shot in the UK.

Target Recurve. With subdivisions for up to 35lb; 50lb and unlimited (whatever you can pull without doing yourself severe damage)

Target Compound.  With subdivisions for up to 45lb; 60lb and unlimited.

Flight Recurve. With subdivisions for up to 35lb; 50lb and unlimited.

Flight Compound.  With subdivisions for up to 45lb; 60lb and unlimited.

Long Bow. With subdivisions for up to 35lb; 50lb and unlimited.

American Flat Bow With subdivisions for up to 35lb; 50lb and unlimited.

Cross Bow

Foot Bow  Unlimited

Check out - for definition of rules.

So what are you shooting at ?

A Flight range consists of a shooting line and a perpendicular line of marker boards laid out at intervals of 100 yard or 100 meters (depending whether it is World Archery rules or GNAS) , out to a marker sign at 1 kilometre if that distance is available. You can usually only see the 1 K end of range marker for alignment.  For Flight you have to shoot from behind the line, you cannot straddle it as in Target.

In theory the maximum trajectory for the arrow to cheat gravity is 45 °, in practice 43.5° is supposed to work best, but you also have to take account of head and tail winds.  The angle of shooting is increased for a tail wind, to get the wind to carry the arrow further. For a head wind the angle is lowered. The arrow goes very high in the air so a head wind will potentially push up the flight trajectory of the arrow. You are allowed a helper with a spirit level or angle gauge to advise you of bow angle.

It is important to land the arrow as close to the range line described by the line of signs as possible. The arrow distance is measured perpendicular to the line described by the signs, using a prism for alignment, so the further you swing away from the line the more distance you loose.


For the recurve and compound target classes the bows rules are the same for target archer. There are further rules on arrow construction. Arrows must be commercially available and cut the the archers normal target draw length.

Points must also be commercially available, but there are no limitations on modifications, so this has become a rather controversial rule. It is also not a rule for Target archery?

For  recurve and compound Flight bows there are very few restrictions. You can use shoot through risers, these are not allowed for recurve Target. The only real rule is a minimum arrow length of 14”, any construction, or construction materials go.

As a guide for arrow construction, you need to be as light as possible with an arrow FOC that is close to 0% as possible. There are many construction combinations to achieve this, and I suspect it is going to be many years before I get to what might be optimal, that's part of the attraction of this sport.

So choose a bow style and give it a go, you will probably be surprised just how far modern bows and archery equipment will go.