Marysville, Ohio, June 20, 2009. Aerobatic competition. More photos soon !
Aerobatic pilots have tremendous skill, courage, and confidence. Go to a show and you’ll be amazed. People wonder, “how can they do that ?” It’s all precise and based on solid physics. In contests, flights are planned very carefully and pilots stick to a series of maneuvers that lead one to the next in succession, ending with the landing. They have to stay in a 3 dimensional space “box” in the sky or lose points.
Aerobatic aircraft must meet certain criteria to be certified.
They have to have special kinds of fuel pumps and oil pumps, for example, to keep the engine operating, and their wings are designed to facilitate rolling and other exotic maneuvers. Many aerobatic airplanes are actually biplanes, like the one above. That allows short wings with as much surface area as a single longer wing. Large, heavy wings undergo tremendous stress in aerobatic maneuvers.
Even though few pilots ever do an aerobatic maneuver such as a full barrel roll or multiple spin, they are trained to learn what they are and how to avoid them. And, if they do happen, they are trained what to do to recover.
If you never get a chance to fly a real aerobatic aircraft, try one in a simulator. You can learn to do rolls, spins, and loops in total safety. Take it seriously, read about how these moves are done, download some aerobatic planes, read about them, and try them out. Good luck