Aerobatic maneuver
Overview
 
Aerobatic maneuvers are flight paths putting aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 in unusual attitudes, in air show
Air show
An air show is an event at which aviators display their flying skills and the capabilities of their aircraft to spectators in aerobatics. Air shows without aerobatic displays, having only aircraft displayed parked on the ground, are called "static air shows"....

s, dog fights or competition aerobatics
Competition aerobatics
Competition aerobatics is an air sport in which judges rate the skill of pilots performing aerobatic flying. It is practiced in both piston-powered single-engine airplanes and gliders....

. Aerobatics
Aerobatics
Aerobatics is the practice of flying maneuvers involving aircraft attitudes that are not used in normal flight. Aerobatics are performed in airplanes and gliders for training, recreation, entertainment and sport...

 can be performed by a single aircraft or in formation with several others. Nearly all aircraft are capable of performing aerobatics maneuvers of some kind, although it may not be legal or safe to do so in certain aircraft.

Aerobatics consist of five basic maneuvers: Lines (both horizontal and vertical), Loops, Rolls, Spins, and Hammerheads.
Encyclopedia
Aerobatic maneuvers are flight paths putting aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 in unusual attitudes, in air show
Air show
An air show is an event at which aviators display their flying skills and the capabilities of their aircraft to spectators in aerobatics. Air shows without aerobatic displays, having only aircraft displayed parked on the ground, are called "static air shows"....

s, dog fights or competition aerobatics
Competition aerobatics
Competition aerobatics is an air sport in which judges rate the skill of pilots performing aerobatic flying. It is practiced in both piston-powered single-engine airplanes and gliders....

. Aerobatics
Aerobatics
Aerobatics is the practice of flying maneuvers involving aircraft attitudes that are not used in normal flight. Aerobatics are performed in airplanes and gliders for training, recreation, entertainment and sport...

 can be performed by a single aircraft or in formation with several others. Nearly all aircraft are capable of performing aerobatics maneuvers of some kind, although it may not be legal or safe to do so in certain aircraft.

Aerobatics consist of five basic maneuvers: Lines (both horizontal and vertical), Loops, Rolls, Spins, and Hammerheads. Most aerobatic figures are composites of these basic maneuvers with rolls superimposed.

Table of the basic aerobatic figures

Most of these can be entered either erect or inverted, flown backwards or have extra rolls added.

Where appropriate, the Aresti Catalog
Aresti Catalog
The Aresti Catalog is the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale standards document enumerating the aerobatic manoeuvers permitted in aerobatic competition...

 symbols have been included. Not all the figures are competition figures
Competition aerobatics
Competition aerobatics is an air sport in which judges rate the skill of pilots performing aerobatic flying. It is practiced in both piston-powered single-engine airplanes and gliders....

, and so some do not have diagrams to accompany the description.

Reading the diagrams, a figure begins at the small solid circle and ends at the short vertical line. Inverted flight (negative g
G-force
The g-force associated with an object is its acceleration relative to free-fall. This acceleration experienced by an object is due to the vector sum of non-gravitational forces acting on an object free to move. The accelerations that are not produced by gravity are termed proper accelerations, and...

) is depicted by dashed red lines. The small arrow indicates a rolling maneuver.
Figure Name Description Aresti Symbol
Aresti Catalog
The Aresti Catalog is the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale standards document enumerating the aerobatic manoeuvers permitted in aerobatic competition...

Chandelle
Chandelle
Chandelle
The chandelle is an aircraft control maneuver where the pilot combines a 180° turn with a climb.It is now required for attaining a commercial flight certificate in many countries...

Consists of a maximum climb, maximum bank combination to obtain the greatest altitude gain for a given airspeed and at the same time making a 180° course reversal. (Low, positive g
G-force
The g-force associated with an object is its acceleration relative to free-fall. This acceleration experienced by an object is due to the vector sum of non-gravitational forces acting on an object free to move. The accelerations that are not produced by gravity are termed proper accelerations, and...

 maneuver can be performed in all aircraft.)
(Not a competition figure.)
Cuban Eight
Cuban Eight
Cuban Eight
A Cuban Eight or Cuban 8 is an aerobatic figure eight maneuver for fixed-wing aircraft both full-scale and radio controlled.Variations include the Half Cuban Eight and Reverse Half Cuban Eight, intended as directional changes and which are listed below.According to the Aresti Catalog, a Cuban Eight...

5/8s of a loop to the 45 degree line, 1/2 roll,3/4s of a loop to the 45 degree line, 1/2 roll, 1/8s of a loop to level flight (half of the Cuban Eight is called a "half Cuban Eight", and the figure can be flown backwards, known as a "Reverse Cuban Eight").
Half Cuban Eight
Cuban Eight
A Cuban Eight or Cuban 8 is an aerobatic figure eight maneuver for fixed-wing aircraft both full-scale and radio controlled.Variations include the Half Cuban Eight and Reverse Half Cuban Eight, intended as directional changes and which are listed below.According to the Aresti Catalog, a Cuban Eight...

From level flight, 5/8s loop to the inverted 45° line, 1/2 roll to erect down 45° line, pull to level flight.
Reverse Half Cuban Eight
Cuban Eight
A Cuban Eight or Cuban 8 is an aerobatic figure eight maneuver for fixed-wing aircraft both full-scale and radio controlled.Variations include the Half Cuban Eight and Reverse Half Cuban Eight, intended as directional changes and which are listed below.According to the Aresti Catalog, a Cuban Eight...

From level flight pull to the 45° up line, 1/2 roll to inverted 45° up line, then 5/8s of a loop to level flight.
Hammerhead; Stall Turn
Hammerhead; Stall Turn 1/4 loop (pull or push) to vertical, as momentum/airspeed decreases, rudder is applied and the aircraft rotates around its yaw axis, the nose falls through the horizon and points towards the ground, a momentary pause is made to draw the vertical down line, and 1/4 loop to level flight. This figure is sometimes called a stall turn which is a misnomer because the aircraft never actually stalls. The manoeuvre is performed when the aeroplane decelerates through 20 - 30kts (more or less, depending on the aeroplane flown) of airspeed. The cartwheel portion of the hammerhead is performed with full rudder and full opposite aileron. Gyroscopic forces from the propeller during the rapid rate of yaw will produce a pitching and rolling
Flight dynamics
Flight dynamics is the science of air vehicle orientation and control in three dimensions. The three critical flight dynamics parameters are the angles of rotation in three dimensions about the vehicle's center of mass, known as pitch, roll and yaw .Aerospace engineers develop control systems for...

 moment and a degree of forward stick will be required to keep the aeroplane from coming off-line over the top. The yaw is stopped with opposite rudder while the ailerons and elevator remain in position, then once the yaw is stopped and the aeroplane is pointed down vertically, all controls are returned to neutral together. Although they can be flown left or right in any aeroplane with the proper technique, a hammerhead is best flown to the left with a clockwise rotating prop, and to the right with an anticlockwise rotating prop (as in a Yakovlev type), due to propeller torque/gyroscopic effects.
Immelmann
Max Immelmann
Max Immelmann was the first German World War I flying ace. He was a great pioneer in fighter aviation and is often mistakenly credited with the first aerial victory using a synchronized gun...

; Roll-off-the-top; Split S
Immelmann
Max Immelmann
Max Immelmann was the first German World War I flying ace. He was a great pioneer in fighter aviation and is often mistakenly credited with the first aerial victory using a synchronized gun...

; Immelmann turn
Immelmann turn
The Immelmann turn refers to two different aircraft maneuvers.-In aerobatics:In modern aerobatical parlance, an Immelmann turn is an aerobatic maneuver of little practical use in aerial combat, and is a different maneuver altogether from the original dogfighting tactic of World War I from which it...

; Roll-off-the-top; half loop, half roll
1/2 looping up followed by half a roll. There should be no pause between the end of the looping section and the start of the roll to erect flight.
Split S
Split S
The Split S is an air combat maneuver mostly used to disengage from combat. To execute a Split S, the pilot half-rolls his aircraft inverted and executes a descending half-loop, resulting in level flight in the exact opposite direction at a lower altitude....

Essentially an Immelmann in reverse. Half roll (from erect to inverted) followed by positive pitch
Flight dynamics
Flight dynamics is the science of air vehicle orientation and control in three dimensions. The three critical flight dynamics parameters are the angles of rotation in three dimensions about the vehicle's center of mass, known as pitch, roll and yaw .Aerospace engineers develop control systems for...

 to give a half loop. Converts altitude to airspeed, and reverses direction.
Up lines
Vertical up Fly the aircraft so that the fuselage is perpendicular to the ground (along the wings' Zero lift axis
Zero lift axis
When symmetric aerofoils are moving parallel to the chord line of the aerofoil, zero lift is generated. However, when cambered aerofoils are moving parallel to the chord line, lift is generated...

). The attitude of the aircraft is judged, not the flightpath, therefore the aircraft may drift downwind during a vertical maneuver.
45° up line Fly the vertical attitude plus or minus 45°. As for vertical lines the attitude of the aircraft is judged, not the flightpath as viewed by a ground observer, which may differ depending on whether the figure is flown into or with the wind, and the wind strength.
Loop
Inside loop A vertical circle entered from straight
Line (geometry)
The notion of line or straight line was introduced by the ancient mathematicians to represent straight objects with negligible width and depth. Lines are an idealization of such objects...

 and erect level
Horizontal plane
In geometry, physics, astronomy, geography, and related sciences, a plane is said to be horizontal at a given point if it is perpendicular to the gradient of the gravity field at that point— in other words, if apparent gravity makes a plumb bob hang perpendicular to the plane at that point.In...

 flight. A positive pitching
Flight dynamics
Flight dynamics is the science of air vehicle orientation and control in three dimensions. The three critical flight dynamics parameters are the angles of rotation in three dimensions about the vehicle's center of mass, known as pitch, roll and yaw .Aerospace engineers develop control systems for...

 movement is used at all points in the loop to draw the circle, so that the aeroplane canopy is pointing inwards. Both the inside and outside loop are sometimes casually referred to as a 'loop the loop'.
Outside loop A vertical circle entered from straight
Line (geometry)
The notion of line or straight line was introduced by the ancient mathematicians to represent straight objects with negligible width and depth. Lines are an idealization of such objects...

 and erect level
Horizontal plane
In geometry, physics, astronomy, geography, and related sciences, a plane is said to be horizontal at a given point if it is perpendicular to the gradient of the gravity field at that point— in other words, if apparent gravity makes a plumb bob hang perpendicular to the plane at that point.In...

 flight, canopy pointing out of the loop. Loop can be above or below the straight and level entry altitude, from erect or inverted attitude. (Draws extreme negative G
G-force
The g-force associated with an object is its acceleration relative to free-fall. This acceleration experienced by an object is due to the vector sum of non-gravitational forces acting on an object free to move. The accelerations that are not produced by gravity are termed proper accelerations, and...

)
English bunt Half an outside loop starting from upright, straight
Line (geometry)
The notion of line or straight line was introduced by the ancient mathematicians to represent straight objects with negligible width and depth. Lines are an idealization of such objects...

 and erect level
Horizontal plane
In geometry, physics, astronomy, geography, and related sciences, a plane is said to be horizontal at a given point if it is perpendicular to the gradient of the gravity field at that point— in other words, if apparent gravity makes a plumb bob hang perpendicular to the plane at that point.In...

 flight. (The pilot pushes the stick forward and draws a half circle in the sky from the top down.)
Spin
Erect spin; Inverted spin; Flat spin
Spin (flight)
In aviation, a spin is an aggravated stall resulting in autorotation about the spin axis wherein the aircraft follows a corkscrew downward path. Spins can be entered intentionally or unintentionally, from any flight attitude and from practically any airspeed—all that is required is sufficient yaw...

A family of auto-rotational maneuvers, consisting of normal or "flat" spins, either upright or inverted. Two components must exist to spin an aircraft: 1) critical angle of attack
Angle of attack
Angle of attack is a term used in fluid dynamics to describe the angle between a reference line on a lifting body and the vector representing the relative motion between the lifting body and the fluid through which it is moving...

 (COA), which means that the aircraft is stalled, and 2) yaw.
Tailslide
Tailslide
Bell tailslide
The tailslide is an aerobatic maneuver that starts from level flight with a 1/4 loop up into a straight vertical climb until the aircraft loses momentum...

, the Bell
1/4 looping up, straight vertical (full power) until the aircraft loses momentum. The aircraft falls backwards, tail first, until the nose drops through the horizon to a vertical down position. 1/4 loop (push or pull) to recovers to level flight.
Snap Roll; Flick roll; Flick
Snap Roll; Flick roll; Flick A family of rapid autorotational or "horizontal spins," not unlike spins. Rotation is induced by a rapid pitch input followed by rapid yaw input, thus stalling one wing further than the other. This imbalance in lift causes the high speed roll.

  • Dive; extreme nose down attitude (not necessarily vertical), resulting increase in airspeed, and descent rate.
  • Lazy eight; 1/4 looping up, wingover (left or right), 1/2 looping down+up, wingover (right or left), 1/4 looping down
  • Lomcovak; family of autorotational, tumbling figures. In all varierties, the aircraft appears to tumble out of control. For example, one style involves the aircraft tumbling (simultaneously) nose over tail and wingtip over wingtip in a negative-g, gyroscopic condition. Introduced by Slovaks such as Ladislav Bezak, and others.
  • Pugachev's Cobra
    Pugachev's Cobra
    In aerobatics, Pugachev's Cobra is a dramatic and demanding manoeuvre in which a plane flying at a moderate speed suddenly raises the nose momentarily to the vertical position and slightly beyond, before dropping it back to normal flight. It uses a potent engine thrust to maintain approximately...

    ; the nose of the aircraft is pulled up suddenly. The aircraft pitches
    Flight dynamics
    Flight dynamics is the science of air vehicle orientation and control in three dimensions. The three critical flight dynamics parameters are the angles of rotation in three dimensions about the vehicle's center of mass, known as pitch, roll and yaw .Aerospace engineers develop control systems for...

     up to 90°-120º angle of attack
    Angle of attack
    Angle of attack is a term used in fluid dynamics to describe the angle between a reference line on a lifting body and the vector representing the relative motion between the lifting body and the fluid through which it is moving...

    . The nose then falls back to the horizontal, and the aircraft accelerates away in the original directionhttp://aeroweb.lucia.it/~agretch/RAFAQ/cobra.html
  • Kulbit
    Kulbit
    The "Kulbit" is an aerial maneuver developed by Russian pilots, in which the aircraft performs an extremely tight loop, often not much wider than the length of the aircraft itself. It is an example of post-stall maneuvering, a type of supermaneuverability...

    ; post-stall maneuver similar to Pugachev's Cobra, but going to 360° pitch angle, flying a "loop"
  • Roll; 360° revolution about the longitudinal axis
  • Barrel roll
    Barrel roll
    A barrel roll is an aerial maneuver in which an airplane makes a complete rotation on its longitudinal axis while following a helical path, approximately maintaining its original direction. It is sometimes described as "a combination of a loop and a roll"...

    ; a combination of a loop and a roll. The flight path during a barrel roll has the shape of a horizontal corkscrew and follows a helical path.
  • Aileron roll
    Aileron roll
    The Aileron Roll is an aerobatic maneuver in which the aircraft does a full 360° revolution about its longitudinal axis. When executed properly, there is no appreciable change in altitude and the aircraft exits the maneuver on the same heading as it entered...

  • Hesitation roll
  • The Scissors
    The Scissors
    The Scissors is an aerial dog fighting maneuver, commonly used by military fighter pilots before the advent of high thrust-to-weight fighters in the late 1950s to mid-1960s and later, and before the perfection of the all-aspect air-to-air missile, and reliable BVR weapons...

    ; flying in a vertical zigzagging pattern.
  • Standing eight; inside loop, 1/2 roll (inverts the aircraft), inside loop (towards the ground) 1/2 roll on top of the loop
  • Wingover; left or right 180° tight turn (yaw) at the top of a 1/4 looping (up)
  • Zoom; extreme nose up attitude (not necessarily vertical), resulting in airspeed loss, and increased rate of climb...

See also

  • Basic Fighter Maneuvers
    Basic fighter maneuvers
    Basic fighter maneuvers are tactical movements performed by fighter aircraft during air combat maneuvering , in order to gain a positional advantage over the opponent. BFM combines the fundamentals of aerodynamic flight and the geometry of pursuit with the physics of managing the aircraft's...

  • Competition aerobatics
    Competition aerobatics
    Competition aerobatics is an air sport in which judges rate the skill of pilots performing aerobatic flying. It is practiced in both piston-powered single-engine airplanes and gliders....

  • Flight dynamics
    Flight dynamics
    Flight dynamics is the science of air vehicle orientation and control in three dimensions. The three critical flight dynamics parameters are the angles of rotation in three dimensions about the vehicle's center of mass, known as pitch, roll and yaw .Aerospace engineers develop control systems for...

  • Whifferdill turn
    Whifferdill turn
    A whifferdill turn turn refers to any number of fancy aerobatic maneuvers performed in an aerial flight show or while flying aggressively. It is a turn with both horizontal and vertical components, usually performed at the end of one maneuver in preparation for the next...


External links

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