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Aerobatic flight and the physics principles

  1. Apr 25, 2007 #1
    hey! can anyone help me. i have this as a physics assignment and that is all the guidance the teacher gave me.

    im not quite sure wat to research on this topic. i think she wants me to cover the stuff about centipetal force?!?!

    and i cant seem to find many good websites. besides heaps of aviation website which just detail how to do the manoeuvres!!

    help anyone?!?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2007 #2


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    IIRC the FAA cutoff between normal utility category flight and aerobatic flight is accelerations above 3.5g.
    Any particular maneuver may or may not be aerobatic depending on how you execute the maneuver.

    I can't think of any physics principals that apply to aerobatic flight that are not covered in normal flight.

    I think you are entitled to a better explanation of what they are looking for.
  4. Apr 25, 2007 #3
    Maybe she just wants that you explain the forces involved in a looping the loop.
  5. Apr 26, 2007 #4


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    The physics principals for aerobatic flight would be the same as normal flight, with some "exceptions". Some examples:

    True Snap Roll - It's possible to produce a very fast roll reaction with just "excessive" up elevator input (down could work as well, but would probably overstress the pilot or aircraft). I'll leave it to you to explain this. I've experienced this with radio control models. I'm not sure how many full scale aerobatic planes can handle the stress.

    Knife edge flight - Wings are vertical, so the only lift come from the aircraft fuselage and any vertical components.

    Vertical hover - all lift produced from prop. This can also result in a torque reaction roll during a hover or near hover.

    Lack of pitch or roll stablity - most aerobatic aircraft are neutral or near neutral, with no pitch or roll stability. They still have yaw stability.

    I'm assuming that aerobatic radio control helicopters are not part of this assignment, since those can "fly" sideways or backwards or upside down without issue, and pitch, roll, and yaw are virtually independent of direction traveled, as demonstrated in this video. The action starts at 25 seconds into the video. rcheli.wmv
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
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