Amazing Aerobatics

29 Aug 14 One Comment

Since my Tiger Moth flight, I’ve been even more excited about aerobatics that I was before, which really is saying something.

It’s pretty neat knowing how it feels to be in the middle of a barrel roll, of course, but also it makes me feel a lot dizzier when watching the pros in action. So I’m glad that I’m able to share some new (and one new-to-me) aerobatics videos with you this week.

This first one of the Blue Angels is just amazing, because the we’re right there in the cockpit. However, I don’t recommend watching it on a full stomach if you suffer from air sickness!

And of course I can’t feature the Blue Angels without giving the Red Arrows equal time. This is part of a “dynamic simulation ride” which puts you in the backseat for a 3D experience at the London Science Museum. This video really shows off the synchronisation:

I have to admit, I flinched at the wake turbulence at the 4:19 sequence. Not the Red Arrow pilots, though! They just keep rolling.

This brand new Red Bull video was filmed as a promotion for GoPro but it sure does show off the camera at its best as Hannes Arch flies over the Austrian Alps:

Even footage from the ground can be dizzy making, and this video from a few years back shows some astounding footage of aerobatic pilot Sean Tucker putting a bi-plane through its paces. I can barely keep spatial awareness walking through a doorway, so I can’t imagine trying to keep myself safe while doing spins and rolls:

Most amazing is how that plane spins while flying straight up into the sky (at 1:49 in the video). I’m pretty sure that shouldn’t be possible.

I don’t think I’d ever dare do any of this but I sure do love watching other people push aviation to its limits. I’d love to see your favourite aerobatic videos in the comments!

Category: Aerobatics,

One Comment

  • Great stuff.
    The last clip shows a session mainly of lomcovacs.
    The aircraft needs to be relatively small and sturdy.
    When I started flying, I was not keen at all on doing aerobatics. My instructor nearly had to force me to go through the compulsory spins for my PPL. More than a yaer later, it took all my courage to finally book an aerobatic training session with an instructor. The aircraft was a Beagle Pup. And I discovered it was fun! Years later I joined the Tiger Club in Redhill and took some lessons with the late Neil Williams. They were in a Stampe SV4, much more nimble than the Tiger Moth. But in order to really become competent a pilot needs to put in a lot of had work and invest a good bit of money.
    I was flying a Cessna 310 at the time and my boss had a lot of business at Gatwick. I found the excuse to nip over to Redhill because the parking fees there were virtually zilch and I used the excuse of saving a bit of money.
    But Neil taught the Aresti style, more aimed at competitive aerobatics and a lot more demanding than the graceful loops and rolls that I preferred.
    One day, when I had done some solo practise, Neil was scathing in his critique. I had been outside of the box most of the time and my manoeuvres did not look like anything as seen from the ground.
    For more advanced aerobatics most pilots will need to put in regular training. I did not like tail slides, outside loops and inverted spins.
    Once, on a flight from Schiphol to Barcelona we made a stop at Cannes Mandelieu. At the time there was an aerobatic school and I went for an hour with Marcel Charolais. He owned a Cap 10, a side-by-side two seater and again, this was pure magic. Multi-point rolls and my first efforts at prolonged inverted flying. Not really difficult but I turned the wrong way. Marcel did not notice, he just told me to turn so I pretended that I had changed to my intended heading.
    Later again I did some flying with a Russian ace, Viktor Ostapenko from Weston near Dublin. The aircraft was a Yak 52. Viktor demanded “this is aerobatic aircraft, minimum bank angle 45 degrees”.
    The Yak is heavier than the Stampe and manoeuvres are done with more g-force.
    He showed me a lomcovak but after this I asked him to end the session because I wanted to get out with a smile on my face, not clutching a (full) sick bag.
    Essentially, insofar as I understood his Russian-accented explanation, a Lomcovac is a manoeuvre which is no longer aerodynamic but a kind of flick roll at speed around the stall. The rest is dictated by using the powerful engine to give torque and the rather heavy metal propeller to impart gyroscopic force.
    The result is something that looks as if the aircraft is tumbling through the air. And from my perspective inside the aircraft that was precisely what happened. I was rather dizzy when I got out of the plane, so I cannot be certain that I understood it all. Apparently there are variations of the lomcovac depending on the entry and use of engine power and torque. I cannot guarantee that I still had a smile but at least I managed to save myself from the indignity of getting air sick.

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