As a matter of interest, why is it difficult to teach a slow roll in an Extra?
I agree with you, and likewise with the YAK52, the slow roll takes a gentle hand and a lot of care.
Twitch and she’s round ‘straight’ away.
But it’s a different skill, it’s a skill of patience and care.
I used 100KIAS, what do you use?
In the Decathlon I will teach a slow roll from 80KIAS and you have to really work it around.
This is an important energy care skill for a roll off the top.
Ooohh, lots of interesting things in here
I can't really say what speed I would use for a slow roll, it depends on context. In a competition, rolls are judged solely on line of flight, constancy of rate and stopping at the correct level and heading. This promotes fast rolls because, as you say, they are easier to fly accurately. They require less finesse! Some people refer to this as a kind of "binary" use of ailerons. Ailerons are either on (full deflection) or off.
I generally fly slow rolls for fun, and as a way to get the feel of the controls in an aeroplane that is new to me. I generally fly them from cruise, usually as I am transiting out to a practice area. In my aeroplane that is probably 130kts, but I am pretty comfortable down to around 80 kts I think.
MichaelP wrote:Probably one of the factors in this is the level of pilot instructing in the Extra 300 is often too high for the student.
I have seen that. It is easy, as expertise grows, to forget the problems that face the newcomer, and instead concentrate on the things that seem more important to you - the expert.
I have found myself explaining way too much detail about the strategy of a flight, positioning, energy management, finessing the judges etc, to someone that really just need to know what the figure was supposed to look like.
MichaelP wrote:So the outcome was the CAP 10 deviating from the 45 downline due to the pilot having missed the fundamental rolling on a point using all the controls to achieve this.
It’s difficult in the Extra as you can roll without any detectable rudder input and still come out on line.
I did slow rolls in an Extra 300L, this was not easy!
Easier in the Decathlon because you have to use all the controls from the start!
Yes, I do agree that, when flying something less aerobatically capable, you are forced to fly it better to get a good outcome.
MichaelP wrote:A friend kept pitching and rolling out of the stall turn in the Extra 300L.
“Let me do one” I said.
Up up up we went, you have a lot of time on the upline and power to stop and do the turn.
So up we went, and she pivoted around, and straight down the downline crisply.
Then there was shock and shouting from the back; “You didn’t use any aileron!” he kept repeating, and from me “I didn’t need to!”.
Actually sometimes there is a touch of aileron, but mostly I twitch the stick forward a bit just before I apply the rudder in the direction of the stall turn. The outside wing scythes around like a knife, neutral to the airflow.
The stick forward touch applies a little gyroscopic force to assist the yaw.
Pilots are taught to put the stick in the top right corner...
I prefer to teach pilots to apply as much control as is necessary and only that much.
Even in the Citabria I use very little out turn aileron in a stall turn.
You may say I don’t compete, and that in competition aerobatics you must apply forward and full out turn aileron.... But the described method seems to work for me, and in the Extra it went around beautifully with my method while conversely it flopped over with the standard full forward right stick input.
I think that this explains it all, something I had forgotten in this context.
The Japanese have a concept of learning, from martial arts I think, called "Shu-Ha-Ri" which translates to "Obey-Digress-Leave".
The idea is that as a Beginner you learn best by obeying instructions from your instructor, diligently (Shu). Once you have the basics down you can deviate from the strict rules and explore a bit (Ha). Experts invent their own approach, and there aren't really any rules, the approach is much more holistic (Ri).
I don't fly stall turns (or most things) by the numbers, I fly the aeroplane through the manouver throughout. Mostly I don't use aileron either, unless there is a reason to do so. However, I do understand that to introduce the concepts you need to instruct "put the stick there, now wait for this to happen and then push the rudder and move the stick".
I don't think that the "put the stick in the top right corner" is a competition thing, I think that it is something from basic aerobatic training. There is no advantage at all to do that in competition (unlike fast rolls for example, where there is an advantage).
MichaelP wrote:What I have also seen often is pilots who’s movements are jerky.
Not all aerobatics have to be ‘head banging’, and in my opinion we need to teach smooth operation first, and leave the advanced stuff to be learned later on.
One day for a recurrency flight in the Extra 300L I brought an instrument flying hood. I knew the pilot was competent in what the Extra 300L does, but what about instrument flying?
All good fun.
As I have improved over the years my view on aerobatics has changed a lot.
I can, just about, remember my first loops and rolls and at that time it was so suprising to be upside down/pointing at the ground, stalling at high-speed etc that I had no real capacity to do other than put the stick where I was told.
Now I am, as I said, flying the aeroplane all of the time, even if I am tumbling or flick-rolling. I don't mean to say that I am always flying it correctly, but I am always doing something? Interestingly one of the things that I am doing is trying to minimise the control inputs. My aim is to put the controls in the right place, but only to the minimum degree that will have the effect that I desire.
The "harsh/aggressive" flying thing is interesting too. It is a kind of necessary part of competition flying as you advance up through the classes.
I have described why fast rolls matter, it makes them easier to fly and gives the judges less time to spot mistakes.
Pulls and pushes are a different thing though. There is a marked difference in the appearance of someone accelerating the pull (or push) into a loop, or vertical, and someone "Popping the line".
In competition we "Pop" in order to clearly demonstrate to the judges that this is where the change of direction starts. A clear starting point for the looping segment of a figure is really required to meet the judging criteria (and so get decent marks), but it also looks *so* much better, so much crisper, when someone makes a definite change in direction.
I don't know wether this is a conditioned thing or a real difference in the quality of the flying. It is certainly possible that I, like the judges, have been programmed to prefer this crisper style, but to my eyes (and the judges eyes) it really does just look much better.
As a result I think that I can usually spot display pilots who have a competition background. There is a "polish" of precision that competition flying breeds, even if you are tumbling and generally throwing the aeroplane around the sky.
My favourite aerobatic pilot of all time was Renaud Ecalle. Renaud's flying looks effortless, elegant, always in control and smooth whatever he is doing. However, to achieve this illusion he is pushing and pulling the controls aggressively.
My ambition is to try and make my flying look smooth, and as though I have all the time in the world, but to achieve that I will be using full control deflection, momentarily hitting quite high-G loads and generally being very decisive in the control of my aeroplane.
Just for the joy of it, here is Renaud at the World Championships at Silverstone in 2009...