I've now built a couple scale WWI planes (Albatros, Nieuport 11, Sopwith 1
1/2 Strutter) and they seem to fly pretty well. (though I'm a little
reluctant to try rolls, as I'm thinking the roll rate is too slow...)
I'd like to do more than just poke holes in the sky, so I'm wondering: what
are the typical scaleWWI maneuvers one would use in competition?
Any suggestions or websites that might help?
Thanks in advance,
Pull the nose up first before rolling.
Use a little down elevator when the plane is upside down.
Loops (egg-shaped: dive to gain speed first, don't use too much
power on the up line).
Barrel roll--mix a little elevator in with the ailerons.
Wing over (the prettiest maneuver in my book).
Chandelle--a climbing 180 turn.
Spins (many happened, though unintentionally and
usually with fatal consequences).
Things that seem to me to be atypical of WWI planes:
Pure aileron rolls.
Lengthy inverted flight.
Just my opinion. I've got no credentials.
Almost all WWI aircraft were capable of some aerobatic maneuvers.
Here are some common ones:
-> Try a barrel roll starting two mistakes high; you might have to start
from a slight dive then pull the nose up to about 15 degrees above the
-> Try a simple loop starting again from a dive; the loop should be
smaller than we do with our modern models and somewhat egg-shaped.
-> An Immelman combines the above -- half a loop starting from a slight
dive with a half-roll at the top.
-> A Split-S. Start at the top with a half roll and when inverted pull
gently through a half loop.
-> Depending on the runway and wind conditions, you can also do a
Touch-and-Go as well as an "Overshoot" -- A go around simulating the
-> You can also demonstrate a Stall.
-> Most WWI types also performed very gentle Spins.
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I agree with you, Marty. Good suggestions. A slow, low flyby is always
pretty, too, and could be a scouting or strafing mission.
Almost ANY inverted flight is a no-no. Gravity feed fuel supply, remember?
A spin may be dangerous. Start it high. My Dr.1 starts slowly, but after a
couple of turns wraps up tight and is a little scarey. Remember, these planes,
especially larger (1/4 scale or greater), need plenty of altitude and airspace
"There's a Hun in the sun!"
I flew a round of fun scale at our last event in May with my SE5A. This was
a fun scale event and my first time entering. I did a straight flight out,
procedure turn and a straight flight back a wing over and a loop. Don't use
excessive power, be sure to dive into the loops and pull back on the
throttle on the top. Seems to me that the WWI planes are at a disadvantage.
They fly so slow the judges can see the slightest mistake. (Yea, I know, so
don't make any) The event was won by Jeremy Fursman flying a P-51.
Makes sense. :o)
Royal Navy Lt. Parke learned how to stop spins in 1912, but was killed
by a spin a few months later:
"Perhaps the real unsung hero is someone else. Frederick A. Lindemann,
a bespectacled theoretician, smitten with flying -- who was initially
rejected from the Royal Flying Corps due to poor vision -- succeeded
in getting a pilot's license by memorizing the eye chart. He later
used his family's influence to join the scientific staff at the Royal
Aircraft Factory. This was no charlatan, however.
"He initiated a study of the instrument indications and pilot actions
that appeared to cause spin entries during turns, and with little
flying skill of his own, successfully determined the causes of
stall/spin occurrences, and the control movements needed to counteract
"His theoretical conclusion was the correct one: that a pilot's
instinctive responses to spinning were the WRONG responses. One must,
he reasoned, apply and maintain full opposite rudder while the nose
was pointed at the ground. Furthermore, one should not pull back until
the spin stopped. Ah, but how to test the theory? Here is where
Lindemann's stature ascends to prominence, because he tested his
theory with himself as the test pilot. With observers from the
Farnborough Aerodrome paying close attention, he took a spindly B.E.2
up to its service ceiling (near 14,000 feet), deliberately entered a
fully established spin and put his theory to the ultimate test of
accountability. Not only did he come out of it, but, after doing so,
he then climbed back up and recovered from a spin in the opposite
direction! The year was 1914.
For a while, the British kept this military secret, and used it to
their advantage. Whenever a British pilot was outnumbered and needed
to escape he would commit suicide -- from the perspective of his
German opponents, anyway. He would spin away and down, only to recover
close to the ground and speed safely away. Pilots talk though, and
soon the secret was out ... to benefit all who followed."
A U.S. Marine pilot worked out a technique to get his seaplane through
a loop and, along the way, out of spins:
"In 1917, First Lieutenant Francis T. Evans became one of the first
aviators to recover a seaplane from a spin, a basic element of
aviation safety. Up to that time if one got into a spin, there was no
known recovery technique and both the aircraft and pilot were lost.
Many had debated whether or not a seaplane, with its heavy pontoons,
could be looped successfully. Early in 1917, flying over Pensacola Bay
in a new N-9 seaplane, Evans decided to resolve the debate. At 3,500
feet, he dived, trying to pick up enough speed to get "over the top"
of the loop. He lost too much speed on the way up. The plane stalled
and went into a spin. Evans pushed his control wheel forward to regain
air speed and controlled the turning motion of the spin with the
rudder. Recovering from the spin, he climbed back up and tried again:
stalling, spinning and recovering, until he managed to complete the
loop without stalling. To make sure he had witnesses, Evans then flew
over the hangars and repeated his performance. Pensacola incorporated
his spin-recovery technique into its training. In 1936 he was awarded
a Distinguished Flying Cross retroactively for his extraordinary
discovery, almost twenty years earlier. "
| Royal Navy Lt. Parke learned how to stop spins in 1912, but was killed
| by a spin a few months later:
Fascinating stuff! :)
I guess the proper way to demonstrate a spin in an (early) scale WWI
plane would be to enter the spin, keep trying to correct with elevator
and ailerons, and smack into the ground!
I don't think the points would be worth it, however ...
That is what is called an Immelman today, but the manoeuvre that Herr
Immelman perfected in combat was more of a dive, followed by a climb
with a barrel roll in it, to place the aircraft behind and above a
Today one might consider a split S, but negative G was a nono on those
planes, and a straight loop was too time consuming and needed speed.
Hence the zoom and roll technique.
I suspect that any zoom followed by a roll then became known as an
Immelman, leading to the manoeuvre as it is today.