Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1712102
I think the ideal aeros training aeroplane for the masses rather than for those who are training for competition is either the CAP10, Bulldog, or RV8 (a few in the USA have been converted to full dual control, allowing real instruction to happen), or in a pinch, a T67. The lesser types, such as the Robin 2160 and Cessna Aerobat require too much in the way of developing energy management skills, taking the focus off the aerobatics. At the other end of the spectrum, the Pitts S2 and the Extra 200 are too twitchy(i.e. require lots more finesse when landing) , and would be a challenge to convert or insure a very low time PPL on.

If I were setting up an aeros flight school and had to park outside, then I would probably try to get a Bulldog on a permit with a decent fatigue index reading.
Ridders liked this
User avatar
By davef77
#1712123
Maxthelion wrote:I think the ideal aeros training aeroplane for the masses rather than for those who are training for competition is either the CAP10, Bulldog, or RV8 (a few in the USA have been converted to full dual control, allowing real instruction to happen), or in a pinch, a T67. The lesser types, such as the Robin 2160 and Cessna Aerobat require too much in the way of developing energy management skills, taking the focus off the aerobatics. At the other end of the spectrum, the Pitts S2 and the Extra 200 are too twitchy(i.e. require lots more finesse when landing) , and would be a challenge to convert or insure a very low time PPL on.

If I were setting up an aeros flight school and had to park outside, then I would probably try to get a Bulldog on a permit with a decent fatigue index reading.



I am probably biased, as an ex-Pitts pilot, but I think that the "twitchy" idea is over-sold. It is a mix of stories from Pitts pilots who want everyone to think that they are Sky-gods and people that haven't flown a Pitts, and probably not flown a tailwheel aeroplane, but like to demonise them.

Yes a Pitts is not the easiest plane to land, but I know at least one person who did their PPL in a Pitts. It is not an impossible aeroplane to land, in many ways I think that a Pitts has some advantages over slower aeroplanes with less control authority. For example I would much prefer to land a Pitts in a strong cross-wind than something like a Chipmunk. I have never flown an RV, but it wouldn't surprise me if a Pitts was better than an RV in crosswind too. Powerful controls and almost instant control response mean that you can put a Pitts where you want it.

The famous quote from Curtis Pitts is "there are no twitchy aeroplanes, only twitchy pilots". I don't believe that you need special skill to fly or land a Pitts, but they are very different to fly to most training aeroplanes and to most tourers, not necessarily more difficult, but different.
User avatar
By foxmoth
#1712129
Not really talking about landing here and I don’t think it is particularly relevant (though not many tailwheel aircraft are easier than an RV in a crosswind). I would say myself that learning in a Pitts or Extra you will have a problem when it comes to rolling manoeuvres and struggle keeping height in a lesser aircraft whereas going from the lesser aircraft to the more advanced most people will find very easy as far as the aeros go.
User avatar
By Rob P
#1712141
Maxthelion wrote:If I were setting up an aeros flight school and had to park outside, then I would probably try to get a Bulldog on a permit with a decent fatigue index reading.


Any reason for dismissing the Yak 52 which has a better rate of climb and places the pilot on the centreline?

Rob P
By Maxthelion
#1712143
If landing isn't a consideration - i.e. making the aeroplane 'accessible' to hiring pilots who are ok with a Warrior but would take 15 hours to check out on a Pitts, then an Extra or a Pitts is probably a good choice. I agree with Dave that the Pitts isn't the beast it's made out to be when landing, but I've also heard of pilots who have taken many many hours to get signed off to solo standard who were otherwise perfectly capable pilots. I do still however think that a less rapid roll rate would be less intimidating to the majority of pilots taking their first aerobatic lessons, hence why a lesser machine has a place still.
I've been flying the RV for about four years in all sorts of conditions and haven't yet struggled in a crosswind. Like Dave says, control authority (and knowing what to do with it) is what gives crosswind capability, and the RV has it in spades.

Foxmoth, have you reached any conclusions?
Last edited by Maxthelion on Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Ridders
#1712186
Maxthelion wrote:If I were setting up an aeros flight school and had to park outside, then I would probably try to get a Bulldog on a permit with a decent fatigue index reading.
I think the challenge is finding one, for the right price. Flyguy had the bulldogs at his place that were all not actually on FI meters, but overall airframe life. At the end I believe I am right in saying they went to the US where experimental don’t care about such things. All the ex RAF ones are I believe on FI meters and recording at end of each flight the G pulled. It can chew through a FI quickly if one clicks the upper G’s round. I used to own one with AndyR and I was the main aerobatic hooner, we managed to click up about 1FI every year, with me flying about 80 hrs. I could get round a loop without clicking the 3.5g figure. At a training school it would be horrendous rate!
Fly guys place now use Slingsby - but with the bigger engines, which I have flown there and they are splendid for concentrating on manoeuvres and not continually having to be gaining height or diving for speed again and again. The other benefit is that they teach slow rolls better than a dog because those big wings have a slower roll rate. (Yawn!)
foxmoth wrote: I would say myself that learning in a Pitts or Extra you will have a problem when it comes to rolling manoeuvres and struggle keeping height in a lesser aircraft whereas going from the lesser aircraft to the more advanced most people will find very easy as far as the aeros go.
I certainly learnt in Bulldog as I owned one for 4 years. So I learnt aeros (and formation) in what I flew all the time. I have flown aeros in a few different types since, a fair bit in slingsby T67, but I have also flown a fair few sorties in the (front) Extra300. I found the extra quite easy to fly basic manoeuvres so I agree with your thoughts.
User avatar
By foxmoth
#1712215
Foxmoth didn't mention he had his own oil refinery, so I assumed the '52 was probably not an option.


It was not so much needing the oil refinery but we are using the new rules on teaching on permit aircraft which allows us to offer aerobatics at a much more reasonable rate than most schools, our aircraft is a bit unique (Marquart Ma5 Charger) and similar to a Stampe in handling but with a better climb and easier to maintain height.
Foxmoth, have you reached any conclusions

I am still of the opinion that you are better learning on something not having the performance of a Pitts or Extra but interesting to see how many think otherwise.

RV8 (a few in the USA have been converted to full dual control, allowing real instruction to happen),

Do you have any more info on this, we might be very interested in an 8 if we could do this mod?
By VFR_UK
#1712241
Kemble Pitts wrote:
I did my aerobatic rating on the Pitts S2A (with Alan Cassidy).

.


I also did a good few hours in the Pitts at WW (not with Alan). It was fantastic - after flying a PA28 the controls and sensitivity were phenomenal. It was fun!

Can’t imagine enjoying it in a 152. I can very much imagine enjoying an Extra even more, but they’re sooo expensive.

It’s not just the aircraft but the instructors, and I may be wrong but good aeros instructors are probably more likely found flying better aircraft. I don’t imagine Alan does much teaching in a 152.
Rob P liked this
User avatar
By foxmoth
#1712247
good aeros instructors are probably more likely found flying better aircraft


whilst there may be some truth in that I think it is too much of a generalisation, there are many good aeros instructors who do not have normal access to the better aircraft (not an aircraft I would want to teach aeros on but I do know of one very good instructor that normally uses a Aerobat) and some very good aerobatic pilots with fantastic aircraft who are just not good instructors!
VictoryRoll liked this
By Maxthelion
#1712260
Hi Foxmoth,
Here is a link to a build blog that shows the rear pedal set up used to provide a better pedal and some heel brakes in an 8a: http://www.rv8.ch/rv8a-rear-seat-brakes-and-pedals/
As you probably know, the rear pedals and brakes are the major obstactle to flying P1 an RV-8 from the back seat. The mixture and prop can be connected to a quadrant with push/pull rods just like the throttle, and a small instrument binnacle can be used to house a repeater screen for a Dynon D100 or similar and then you would just need a small EFIS repeater for the engine instruments. Switches can be duplicated and a stick grip with plenty of buttons is a good idea. It's not something that would be quick or easy to do, but I'm certain the LAA would entertain it, and I don't think any of the problems would be insurmountable. You would then have a really good aerobatic trainer for about £100k that could be operated for probably about a third the cost of a CofA EA200.
User avatar
By foxmoth
#1712267
Thanks for that, not sure you really need the mixture and prop in the rear though agree that would be ideal but a decent rear rudder pedal setup is what I have always felt is needed in the 8!
You would then have a really good aerobatic trainer for about £100k that could be operated for probably about a third the cost of a CofA EA200.


Well, being on a permit we put our Ma5 out at £180/hr - we could do it cheaper but don't want to under cut the local flying School Cessna 150/152 (not an Aerobat)! I suspect we would do the same pricing on an RV8 :wink:
By alex90
#1712299
I think every aerobatic aircraft type has its pros and cons - and different people will find different positives and different negatives depending on what they expect from the aircraft.

I personally think the CAP10 is a good compromise between ability to perform (as seen at the nationals at sports level - two of my friends in the CAP10 still beat most the Extra and Pitts pilots - https://www.aerobatics.org.uk/contest/result/166) but also the importance of energy management in order to get the most out of the aircraft.

It also depends what you want to gain from your training, are you aiming to enter competitions, just a summer Sunday afternoon loop, or is your aim to be a safer pilot overall by knowing how to recover from these attitudes / positions?