The Meccano Society of Scotland

Hill Climb

Menstrie Challenge 2012


The challenge this year is to build a vehicle powered by a Meccano M0 electric motor (modern French electric motor) able to ascend an inclined wooden plank.

The challenge will determine which vehicle can climb the steepest gradient. In the event of a draw on the maximum angle, the winner will be the vehicle able to ascend in the shortest time.


  1. The width of the inclined plane will be 8 inches. The distance between the start and finish lines will be 36 inches. The foremost part of the vehicle (not the foremost part in contact with the ramp) will start on or behind the starting line.
  2. The power source will be one Meccano M0 motor (modern French electric motor) running from either 3V or 6V (2 or 4 batteries). The infra-red remote control M0 motor may be used. The nominal cell voltage in the battery pack should be 1.5V. Rechargeable battery packs and cells are not allowed. The battery pack should be carried on the vehicle. Batteries may be changed between heats.
  3. The vehicle length shall not exceed 12.5" (25 holes).
  4. Additional energy delivery or momentum transfer mechanisms employed to start the vehicle in motion, e.g. gravity, elastic, springs, compressed gases, flywheels, ejecting masses, etc. are not permitted. Devices producing aerodynamic lift are allowable providing their failure would not be judged to cause injury to bystanders.
  5. The vehicle should be assembled from Meccano or Meccano compatible parts. Only standard Meccano parts may be in contact with the ramp. The use of adhesives etc. on the parts in contact with the ramp is strictly prohibited.
  6. To assist course marshals, commentators, scorers and reporters writing up the event, the entrant's name must be prominently displayed and be visible from above (e.g. a sticky label). Practice sessions using the course will be allowed until the Secretary announces the competition has commenced.
  7. Completion of the course required that the foremost part of the vehicle crossing the start line must also cross the finish line. Erratic vehicles which cross the start line more than once or finish the course in a peculiar orientation (e.g. if they flip over) will not be penalised. Vehicle will have to run reasonably straight to avoid falling off the course. Vehicles which fall off the course or fail to cross the start line will be disqualified from the heat.
  8. For each inclination of the course, before the start of each heat the competitor's vehicle should demonstrably remain stationary behind the start line without any assistance.
  9. After the starting gun goes off the vehicle may be placed on the course with the drive mechanism engaged. In the case of remotely controlled vehicles they should be activated after the starting gun. There shall be no contact with the vehicle whilst it is attempting to ascend the ramp between the start and finish lines.
  10. Vehicles are prohibited from using any form of assistance to climb the ramp which involves tethers etc. The use of hook rollers engaging under the inclined plane is not permitted. The use of guide rollers over the sides of the inclined plane is not permitted.
  11. With the exception of a few nuts, bolts, washers, grub screws and set screws, the vehicles should finish the course with substantially the same number of parts that it started with.
  12. An individual heat has a maximum duration of 2 minutes; thereafter the vehicle still on the course will be deemed not to have completed the course.
  13. Entrants may enter more than one vehicle.
  14. Proxy entrants are welcome.
  15. In the event of a dispute the Secretary will arbitrate.