Glenluce and Galloway Flyers
The Loop
On the face of it the loop is the simplest of 'aerobatic ' manoeuvres, right? ..... Well... not exactly. Yes it is possible to chuck in some up elevator with power on and the model will go over the top eventually coming back round....but that isn't a proper loop. What makes a proper, decent and recognisable loop is patience, control, grace and accuracy. Loops should be round...not a figure '9' or a big oval or an up, stall, fall over, swoop round etc. How do you make them round and tidy? As always, correct speed, positioning and grace on the sticks offer best results. There is far more going on in a good loop than most people realise.You need to visualise the model as if it is stationary in front of you and the air is moving past as a giant block at a constant speed. ....to make the loop look round from the ground, you need to make it an oval in the air! To make matters worse, you need different relative airspeeds at different points as you go round the loop to make it look like a constant ground speed when you view it from the ground. So let's imagine you are going for a lovely loop into wind, what are the key steps and components as you go round? First begin straight and WINGS LEVEL DIRECTLY INTO WIND, if the model is not level to the horizon and particularly if your wings are not level, you will immediately fly into a giant corkscrew and the model will come out miles in or out from where you started. You need to use smooth power and gradual elevator together to trace an accurate first quarter loop. As the model becomes vertical you need to increase the power from about half as you enter the loop to 3/4 or more power as you try to accurately scribe the second quarter. Most people pull far too much elevator here and are too impatient to get the model over the top. Don't rush it... relax, let it fly round a constant arc that matches the first quarter. As the model gradually reaches fully inverted, you need to do two things as the model enters the downwind phase..... firstly push a little down elevator to stop it falling into too tight a return third quarter, and reduce the power gradually when it gets to about 45 degrees over until the model is vertical and descending at very low power. You need to actively hold off the descent of the third quarter by applying 'down' elevator and enough power to keep the model up! This is where you need to imagine trying to fly a big squashed oval rather than a circle... counter intuitively, this actually helps you fly a rounder loop! This third quarter is almost always, always not flown, but simply allowed to go over with whatever momentum it entered the loop with! The third and fourth quarters are the parts that everyone, apart from F3A and IMAC pilots, always mess up and end up ruining the loop! Most people start pulling on the elevator and cut short that essential third and fourth quarter. That is how people end up with a figure 9 or g shape instead of an O shape. Don't rush it, hold off on the elevator and let the model gradually come round in a constant arc that matches the first quarter as you went up. This often means applying slight down elevator as you hit vertical on the way down to complete the third quarter...this stops the fourth quarter tightening up too quickly. You gradually ease this off and begin to smoothly apply slight up elevator as you scribe the fourth quarter. You need to aim to keep each quarter at the right size to let you come out of a smooth constant arc fourth quarter at exactly the height and place you entered and began the loop, e.g. directly in front of the pilot. I haven't mentioned the rudder, and this is a more complex next stage on, but, as you get better, you may have to contend with a cross wind or have to correct your line. .... I think I will leave that for another time so as not to confuse the issue!Give it some thinking time and then go out and practise when you can.
Glenluce and Galloway Flyers
The Loop
On the face of it the loop is the simplest of 'aerobatic ' manoeuvres, right? ..... Well... not exactly. Yes it is possible to chuck in some up elevator with power on and the model will go over the top eventually coming back round....but that isn't a proper loop. What makes a proper, decent and recognisable loop is patience, control, grace and accuracy. Loops should be round...not a figure '9' or a big oval or an up, stall, fall over, swoop round etc. How do you make them round and tidy? As always, correct speed, positioning and grace on the sticks offer best results. There is far more going on in a good loop than most people realise.You need to visualise the model as if it is stationary in front of you and the air is moving past as a giant block at a constant speed. ....to make the loop look round from the ground, you need to make it an oval in the air! To make matters worse, you need different relative airspeeds at different points as you go round the loop to make it look like a constant ground speed when you view it from the ground. So let's imagine you are going for a lovely loop into wind, what are the key steps and components as you go round? First begin straight and WINGS LEVEL DIRECTLY INTO WIND, if the model is not level to the horizon and particularly if your wings are not level, you will immediately fly into a giant corkscrew and the model will come out miles in or out from where you started. You need to use smooth power and gradual elevator together to trace an accurate first quarter loop. As the model becomes vertical you need to increase the power from about half as you enter the loop to 3/4 or more power as you try to accurately scribe the second quarter. Most people pull far too much elevator here and are too impatient to get the model over the top. Don't rush it... relax, let it fly round a constant arc that matches the first quarter. As the model gradually reaches fully inverted, you need to do two things as the model enters the downwind phase..... firstly push a little down elevator to stop it falling into too tight a return third quarter, and reduce the power gradually when it gets to about 45 degrees over until the model is vertical and descending at very low power. You need to actively hold off the descent of the third quarter by applying 'down' elevator and enough power to keep the model up! This is where you need to imagine trying to fly a big squashed oval rather than a circle... counter intuitively, this actually helps you fly a rounder loop! This third quarter is almost always, always not flown, but simply allowed to go over with whatever momentum it entered the loop with! The third and fourth quarters are the parts that everyone, apart from F3A and IMAC pilots, always mess up and end up ruining the loop! Most people start pulling on the elevator and cut short that essential third and fourth quarter. That is how people end up with a figure 9 or g shape instead of an O shape. Don't rush it, hold off on the elevator and let the model gradually come round in a constant arc that matches the first quarter as you went up. This often means applying slight down elevator as you hit vertical on the way down to complete the third quarter...this stops the fourth quarter tightening up too quickly. You gradually ease this off and begin to smoothly apply slight up elevator as you scribe the fourth quarter. You need to aim to keep each quarter at the right size to let you come out of a smooth constant arc fourth quarter at exactly the height and place you entered and began the loop, e.g. directly in front of the pilot. I haven't mentioned the rudder, and this is a more complex next stage on, but, as you get better, you may have to contend with a cross wind or have to correct your line. .... I think I will leave that for another time so as not to confuse the issue!Give it some thinking time and then go out and practise when you can.
© 2020 Glenluce and Galloway Flyers
© 2020 Glenluce and Galloway Flyers