Immelman

Written by Dan Knippen

Well here it is going on May already and by now our flying season is in full throttle. Regardless of what type of flying you’re into or plane you’re flying, don’t forget to do maintenance on all the planes you fly. We all tend to get a little too comfortable or just lazy, especially when things are working well.

This month I will continue and complete the rest of the Basic sequence and relate them to the same type maneuvers in a different class. Remember, no matter what class you fly, some of these basic maneuvers are in every class.

Last month we completed #5 one roll, and now we will continue the sequence by doing #6 the Immelman; ½ inside loop, ½ roll with upright exit. We are still flying from right to left after you completed the one roll.

This Immelman is a fairly simple half loop from the bottom with a half roll on top. This is similar to the Split S, except that in the Split S the half loop is started from the top and finishes at the bottom. As you start the half loop wings are level and you will want to fly a constant radius just as if you’re going to fly a full loop. Again throttle management and rudder correction on the vertical is a must. As you reach the top of the ½ loop you must immediately perform your ½ roll to end in the upright position. Do not draw a straight line when you reach the top of the radius before the ½ roll or the maneuver will be downgraded two points. Also if you start the ½ roll ten degrees early or before you reach the top, you will be downgraded one point.

#7 Will be a two turn positive spin. Positive meaning from upright flight (a negative spin would start from inverted flight). Spins and snap rolls are probably the hardest maneuvers to judge and fly. Many people will get zeros for both these maneuvers only because they don’t understand or really know the proper way to fly these maneuvers to score them well. Right now let’s stick with the two turn spin.

After completing your Immelman in #6 you are now heading from left to right at a reasonably high altitude. You now need to lower your throttle down to idle to set up for the stall to perform the spin. As you do this you must keep the plane flying in a level attitude, level attitude, level attitude. Did I mention level attitude?  Without climbing or descending. The way to do this is buy using the elevator to help slow your plane down to the point that the aircraft actually stalls, the nose falls and at the same time the wing tip with use of rudder will drop in the direction of the stall. Ok, that sounds easy enough. Some planes will require some aileron as well to help auto rotation. Do not use the ailerons until after the nose drops and the spin starts or you will probably snap into the spin with a zero. “Zeros Suck”! To recover heading after two spins, neutralize all controls about a half turn before heading is reached. Continue the 90 degree downline until flying speed is regained, then pull to a level exit for your next maneuver. Without going into great detail, a mandatory zero will be given for no stall before spin (called a forced or snapped entry). Also note that wind correction before the stall must be maintained by crabbing into the wind. During the stalled spin no wind correction and no down grade should be given unless you should over rotate after the spin.

The next maneuver is an Immelman, ½ inside loop, ½ roll which is the same as #6 only you are flying in the opposite direction. Most likely one of these maneuvers will be flown down wind from the other so you get a little different challenge here.

Now we are getting to the end of the sequence. With maneuver #8 we have once again regained our altitude and we will be flying from right to left to set up for #9, a Split S, which will drop your altitude back down. This is like the Immelman only we will start from the top with a ½ roll to inverted and immediately pull a half inside loop and exit upright. Remember that after you do the ½ roll do not draw a line before you pull the ½ inside loop or you will be downgraded.

Last maneuver # 10 is a Sharks Tooth but not as bad as it sounds. We will finish by flying from left to right. This maneuver will take place on the right of center. As you approach continue the wind correction and wings level before you pull to vertical upline. When you have reached a comfortable altitude your going to pull to inverted and establish a 45‑degree down line. Count to about two or three then do a half roll to upright and try not to lose that 45‑degree downline. Another two or three second and pull to upright to complete the sequence. You want to either announce “sequence complete”, or wag your wings as proper procedure when completing a Round. Then land the plane! Sorry, NO snap rolls, victory rolls, loops or hot dogging of any sorts. This also applies to the beginning of any sequence you’re flying. When you take off you are allowed to check or trim your Plane within a reasonable amount of time. There will also be no aerobatics practiced or flown before you announce “Entering the box”.

We have just completed the Basic sequence for 2004. I hope you have a basic idea of what is expected, how to fly the maneuvers, rules and maintenance. Next month will cover more maneuvers that you may want to learn. If anyone would like to know about anything pertaining to aerobatics let me know and I’ll do my best to help you.

When you’re out there practicing don’t forget about Mr. Rudder and work on that throttle management. Also when you’re learning these maneuvers it would be wise to start about two mistakes high until you feel more comfortable and confident with yourself. Whether it’s the earth moving towards your plane or the plane heading to earth, the results will be the same.