Beginner Series - Aerobatics

by FliteTest | December 25, 2013 | (15) Posted in How To

The Flite Test Beginner Series is brought to you by Horizon Hobby

Episode 10: Aerobatics

Aerobatics is a goal that most new pilots dream of. Trying your hand at aerobatics too soon can bring unwanted consequences.  

Buddy cord systems and flight simulators are great options for learning how to perform and practice aerobatic maneuvers. 

The Pheonix R/C Flight Simulator 4 is what we're using in today's episode. 

The Simple Loop
You can perform a loop with as little as 3 channels

  • Throttle
  • Rudder
  • Elevator
Basic tips:
  • Get 3 mistakes high (Get Altitude)
  • Point plane into the wind at cruising speed and if possible flying away from you.
  • Use throttle and/or nose down to build up proper speed for entering the loop.
  • Large loops require more power and/or speed than small loops.
  • Too much spaed and too tight of a loop can fold your wings!
  • With throttle advance to maintain speed, gently pull back on elevator and hold, then enter loop.
  • Continue holding back pressure until plane is nearly inverted.
  • At the point the plane is inverted, loosen back pressure slightly and decrease the throttle.
  • Continue the downward portion of your loop until the plane is nearly level.
  • Once the plane is level, use the throttle and elevator to bring plane back to proper speed and attitude.

The Simple Roll
You can perform a loop with as little as 3 channels.
(You will need an aircraft with Ailerons to perform a proper roll)

  • Ailerons
  • Elevator
  • Throttle

Basic tips:

  • You need an aircraft with ailerons to perform a proper roll!
  • Get 3 mistakes high (Get Altitude).
  • At cruising speed, point the plane into the wind and position yourself so the plane is traveling away from yourself if possible.
  • Pitch the plane slightly up (you will lose altitude when your plane is on its side and inverted)
  • Neutralize controls.
  • Input aileron direction of desired roll and hold it until the aircraft is 3/4 of the way around.
  • Begin moving your stick to center so that you cross the center point when the plane is almost level.
  • Counter the roll with opposite stick input and stop the plane at level.
  • Bring plane back to level if needed.

Tips For Making Your Roll Cleaner

  • Start your roll flatter and input a touch of nose down once inverted if needed to keep your plane level through the roll.
  • Use rudder to keep level while the plane is on its side

Inverted Flight

  • Inverted flight can be entered through the roll or a loop.
  • Practice rolls and loops before you attempt inverted flight.
  • Roll Out (Do Not Pull Out)
  • Elevator and rudder controls will be backwards





Crashpilot1000 on December 25, 2013
Thanks for that ep! Have a nice Xmas!
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earthsciteach on December 25, 2013
FANTASTIC episode. You guys break the basic aerobatic maneuvers down very well. This will be immensely helpful for beginners.
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FKreider on December 25, 2013
Have a great Christmas and holliday guys! Thanks for the awesome videos!

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vptorres on December 25, 2013
I'm just getting back into Flying R/C. I have built a few of your scratch builds without installing any of the electronics. I'm waiting to save up to get the electronics, Anyway, you are consistently talking about flying your plane up "3 Mistakes" High, Just what altitude is 3 Mistakes high?
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kjedick on December 25, 2013
3 mistakes high is a relative term based on the pilots experience and aircraft. A good trainer has self correcting abilities. When in trouble, we drop the power and the aircraft ,without input, will try and self correct. When teaching my daughter on her Super Cub with training cord, I will take the plane up to about 200 ft and feel comfort about putting it in trouble and giving her the sticks. If I were playing pass the transmitter, I would go up another 50 ft.
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Matt Mountain on December 29, 2013
Like kjedick said; only if like me you're not great at estimating altitude, when you're flying, pay attention to how much height you loose when recovering from something nasty (inverted, spin etc), and visualise that point.
That's 1 mistake high (for you, using that particular airframe, in those conditions).
Just remember as kj said; it's always relative: If using an unfamiliar plane, or in more challenging conditions (wind, low light etc), you need to adjust and add more height.
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DavTix on December 25, 2013
Can you do a video on how to tow gliders please?
Thanks, God bless
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Matt Mountain on December 29, 2013
There are a couple of great glider videos already (e.g: Put "glider" into the Awesome search engine and you'll see the full list.... :-)

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kjedick on December 25, 2013
Great job. Working on getting daughter to watch the series.
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bitogre on December 27, 2013
With this being the end of the beginner series, I was surprised you did not address the topic of coordinated turns. Specifically, why do you want to do them on RC planes, how do you do coordinated turns, and how do you know when you are doing them correctly. I am currently trying to learn how to fly on a simulator and while the plane I am flying on is a 4 channel plane, I am doing bank & yank because I do not see any benefit in doing a coordinated turn nor do I know how to tell if I am doing it correctly. It would be nice to know this information before I get too use to flying with just bank & yank if there is really a good reason to do coordinated turns.
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EDLITE on December 30, 2013
Anyway to zoom in better showing what Josh plane is doing; that is what I would like to see on next video.
We can always do better; learning never stops.
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Beginner Series - Aerobatics