I must apologize for delaying this blog post for so long. I have been recovering from eye surgery and it has been difficult to work at the computer.
Up till now, I have been discussing various aspects of getting started in flying radio controlled model airplanes. Now, I want to step up the action a little bit. Over the next several posts, I will be discussing and describing the basic aerobatic maneuvers and how to do them.
As always, I recommend having an experienced flier standing by as you go through these maneuvers to help in case on an emergency and to provide additional assistance as necessary. Since I am not a serious competitor, I welcome input from those of you that are. Please feel free to click on the comments link at the end of the post and add your input. All comments are moderated by myself in order to keep this site free of spam.
If you are a beginner, I suggest that you have mastered all the basic flight steps including takeoffs, solo flight, and landings before you attempt these basic aerobatic patterns. Check with your flight instructor to see if he feels you are ready for aerobatic flying.
Before getting into the basic patterns, I want to explain what a stall is, why it happens and how to get out of the stall condition. I know that some of you already know about stalling and what to do about it, but for the sake of the ones that don’t, please bear with me.
An airplane, whether it is a model or a full sized aircraft will stall if the airspeed gets too slow. To explain this a little further, you need to understand how a radio controlled model airplane gets the lift needed to sustain continuous flight. I don’t want to get into a lot of technical details about aerodynamics, but let it suffice to say that the lift is created by the air moving over both surfaces of the wing at a speed that is great enough to develop and maintain the required lift.
The shape of the wing (airfoil) and the speed of the plane determine how much lift is created. When the aircraft slows down or loses airspeed, the lift diminishes and it will fall out of the sky. For example a model can stall from the consequences of too steep of a takeoff when the airspeed is less. Or, when doing aerobatic patterns at a slower speed and climbing too steeply. Another condition that can cause a stall is by flying at too low of an airspeed or if the engine should quit in flight.
Whatever causes it to happen, if a stall occurs without proper corrective action, the plane will fall out of control to the ground and I don’t need to tell you what the end result will be. To recover from a stall, it is necessary to regain airspeed to create the required lift. If you encounter a stall, point the nose slightly down and if necessary, increase engine speed and when you have reached adequate airspeed gently pull the nose up and level off. It is a natural reaction especially for beginners to pull up immediately on the elevator control which will only worsen the situation.
You should practice getting your radio controlled aircraft into a stall and then recovering from the stall and be familiar with doing that so that when doing the aerobatics, you will be more familiar with how your model behaves in a stalled condition. And as always you should be accompanied by your trainer when you first attempt the stall recovery practice.
We will get into a simple inside loop next time. This is the OldManFlier and I’ll see you next time.