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The objective is to fly as high as possible after flying off a ramp before the machine has to hit the ground. The maximum altitude flown is measured in feet. How long the machine actually takes to achieve this is not limited.
The player gets two runs, and the highest altitude achieved in the two is the one that counts.
The final say on the winner depends highly on the final weight and gliding ability of the machine. Top speed helps, but not as much as those two factors. Boost and Charge also help, but only by a miniscule amount (i.e. takeoff speed).
The player always starts off on a downward slope, which leads to a ramp with boost pads. Hitting them is ideal. Since horizontal distance covered does not matter, the machine's nose should be pulled as high as possible and held in that position until altitude finally stops increasing. The machine passes through one-way surfaces every hundred feet on its way up, and it will land on one of these on its way down.
The Infinite Flight Glitch that can be performed using the Bulk Star to achieve the maximum distance in Air Glider cannot be performed here, as it makes the Bulk Star oscillate up and down, and a decreasing altitude sets the highest altitude.