Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday's Fantastic Flying Footage

Welcome to another installment of F4. Last week was a miss. Leslie and I had our minds on other things. But it's back this week with some aerobatics. Sean D. Tucker and Patty Wagstaff are two of America's finest, and certainly best known, aerobatic pilots. In this video Tucker shows off some great stunts to a nice piece of music.

Most aircraft are designed for stability. The Cessnas I trained in will just about right themselves in most circumstances. Aerobatic aircraft, on the other hand, are intentionally designed to be unstable. They must be very intentionally flown in every phase of flight. Imagine driving your car. Most cars, if maintained properly, will continue more or less straight down the road for at least a few seconds as you turn around to dig for something in the back seat or try to get your hands-free setup in the car in order (sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?). But imagine if your car really wanted to go hard left or right as soon as you let go of the steering wheel (no great stretch of the imagination for some of you that DON'T maintain your cars well). You would have to concentrate completely in every moment on keep the car going precisely the direction you wanted it to. This is the nature of the aerobatic aircraft. They're designed that way so that they can maneuver easily through the different spins, turns, and somersaults you'll see in this video. Now add an engine that is ridiculously overpowered for the airframe, and presto! You have an aerobatic aircraft. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Hal W. said...

Nice... the cowl-camera view of this guy doing the 4 point turn at 10 feet off the runway is amazing... watch his eyes- his scan is completely outside... and for good reason! Check out my flying video this week Matt- the F-22 Raptor...