VINTAGE AVIATION FAQS
How many people can go up at a time?
What are aerobatics and what can I expect?
It is difficult to adequately describe what aerobatics feel like, but here are a few points worth noting:
- Very smooth and graceful, not jerky like a roller coaster
- The open cockpit keeps people from getting sick. 99% of people who take an aerobatic flight say it was better than they expected
- One of the greatest thrills in life
Maximum weight for an aerobatic flight is 235lbs.
The aerobatics that we perform must take place in a specific location and at a higher altitude than we normally fly.
The following is a description of some of the maneuvers that we can perform, depending of course on the individual requests.
Aileron rolls are flown with the rudder and elevator in the neutral position during the roll. The aileron is fully deflected in the direction of the roll. The aileron roll is started by pulling the nose up 20-30 degrees above the horizon. The elevator is then neutralized and the aileron fully deflected in the direction of the roll. The controls are maintained in that position until the roll is completed. After the roll is completed, the nose is usually 20-30 degrees below the horizon.
This is one of the most basic maneuvers, but not very easy to fly well. The difficulty in flying this maneuver well is in correcting for the effects of wind drift.
The maneuver starts with a pull-up of about 3-4 Gâ€™s. Once past the vertical, the back pressure on the elevator is slowly relaxed to float over to top of the loop to keep it round. Past the top, the back pressure is slowly increased again throughout the back part till the horizontal flight. The plane has to stay in one plane with the wings orthogonal to the flight path. A rudder is used to maintain the plane of the figure and ailerons are used to maintain the orientation of wings.
The barrel roll is a combination between a loop and a roll. You complete one loop while completing one roll at the same time. The flight path during a barrel roll has the shape of a horizontal corkscrew. Imagine a big barrel, with the airplane’s wheels rolling along the inside of the barrel in a corkscrew path. During a barrel roll, the pilot always experiences positive Gâ€™s. The maximum is about 2.5 to 3 G and the minimum of about 0.5 G.
It starts with a quarter loop into a vertical climb. When the plane stops climbing, it pivots around its vertical axis (which is now horizontal). The nose moves in a vertical circle from pointing up through the horizon to pointing down. After moving vertically down to pick up speed again, the maneuver is finished with the last quarter of a loop to horizontal flight.
The quarter loop is flown just the first part of a loop. When the plane is vertical, the elevator back-pressure is released completely. During the vertical line up, some right aileron and right rudder is needed to maintain the vertical attitude because of the engine torque and p-factor. When the plane has slowed enough, full rudder initiates the turnaround. It is followed by the right-forward stick (right aileron and forward elevator) to keep the plane for torquing off. The pivot is stopped with opposite rudder when the nose points straight down. When the pivot is completed, the ailerons are neutralized. Elevator and rudder are used to keep the nose pointing straight down.
This maneuver is sometimes called a hammerhead stall. This is not an accurate name because the plane never stalls. The airspeed may be very slow, close to zero, but since there is now wing loading during the turn-around, there is no stall (at zero G wing loading, a wing does not stall). The plane is flying throughout the maneuver with all the control surfaces effective (although sometimes only marginally so).
One Half Reverse Cuban Eight:
This figure starts with a pull to a 45-degree up-line. Centered on this line is a half roll from upright to inverted. Five-eights of a loop complete the figure to horizontal flight. This again is one of the maneuvers that have been used to reverse direction while preserving altitude and airspeed.
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Reserve your memorable tour today!
Group rates are available. We'll fly at an altitude of 800-1200' AGL with a course along the Colorado River, Rattlesnake Arches, and the Colorado National Monument.
Offering scenic flights in our newly restored WWII era 1942 Boeing Stearman aircraft throughout most months of the year. Vintage Aviation can make dreams come true.
The Boeing Stearman Model 75 "Kaydet" occupies a unique place in American aviation history. One of the best-known American biplanes and presently the most numerous, the "Stearman" has had four separate and distinct major careers over a span of 60+ years and the end is still not in sight.