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  #1  
Old April 28th 04, 03:52 AM
Anthony Hewitt.
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Default aerobatics.

Good afternoon all.

Im seriously contemplating beginning an aerobatics endorsement.

I have been flying for 2 years and want to "add".

I have done plenty of research and have narrowed it down to a number of
aeroplanes:

The Zlin (sp?)
The Citabria
The Cessna aerobat.

I know the Decathlon and Zlin are faster and more manueverable but they are
also significantly more expensive for lessons (and I dont like the idea of
learning to fly a tailwheel unless its essential).

Question is, does the Cessna provide enough enjoyment ( I know it loops,
but...) or is it really a Clayton's aerobatics aircraft. Basically, will I
have enough fun in it to get by? Im interested in those whove flown some of
these and what their thoughts were.

Thanks and regards,
AH.


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  #2  
Old April 28th 04, 04:25 AM
John Harper
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Assuming you're in the US, there's no such thing as an aerobatic
endorsement. Believe it or not, the day you get your PPL you
can go out and tailslide into an inverted flat spin in complete,
if evanescent, legality. (Well, there's always 91.13, but I guess that
if you make it back it wasn't reckless). That said, it would be
pretty dumb, indeed it would be extremely dumb to even try
acro without an experienced acro instructor beside/behind
you.

The most important thing is to find the right instructor - good
acro instructors are fairly rare, I'm extremely lucky to have
found one locally. If you can find one, go for it - it's tremendous
fun and extremely satisfying. Don't be surprised if you can't
do it for very long at a time.

I've done acro in a Decathlon and a Grob. The Grob was OK
(apart from the ever-present smell of avgas, which is a known
problem with them), the Decathlon is MUCH more fun. I
plan to try a Pitts and/or Extra this summer. I've not flown
the Aerobat (although my school has one).

For the basics, anything will be fine. A constant-speed prop
makes things MUCH easier though as you essentially don't
touch the power which means (a) a lot less messing around at
times when you're pretty busy anyway and (b) you lose less
altitude in the manouvers. I can get a lot more done in the
Decathlon than in the Grob simply because I spend almost
no time climbing - I climb to 6000' on my way to the practice
area, by the time I'm done I'm down to about 4000', having
expressly climbed maybe a couple of times. If I have any
altitude left at the end I spin it off which is good practice.

The tailwheel thing (which IS an endorsement) is kind of a pain,
especially wheel landings, but an awful lot of fun planes
are taildraggers so it's more when than if, imo. The Citabria
(and Decathlon) is especially fiendish because of the
bounce-o-matic spring steel gear.

My advice is, get started in the Aerobat, but expect to transition
to something faster (forwards and rotationally) once you've
mastered the basics.

John

"Anthony Hewitt." wrote in message
...
Good afternoon all.

Im seriously contemplating beginning an aerobatics endorsement.

I have been flying for 2 years and want to "add".

I have done plenty of research and have narrowed it down to a number of
aeroplanes:

The Zlin (sp?)
The Citabria
The Cessna aerobat.

I know the Decathlon and Zlin are faster and more manueverable but they

are
also significantly more expensive for lessons (and I dont like the idea of
learning to fly a tailwheel unless its essential).

Question is, does the Cessna provide enough enjoyment ( I know it loops,
but...) or is it really a Clayton's aerobatics aircraft. Basically, will I
have enough fun in it to get by? Im interested in those whove flown some

of
these and what their thoughts were.

Thanks and regards,
AH.




  #3  
Old April 28th 04, 05:25 AM
Peter Duniho
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Posts: n/a
Default

"John Harper" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
Assuming you're in the US, there's no such thing as an aerobatic
endorsement.


Assuming the origin of his post is any indication, he's from Australia.
Maybe they do have an aerobatic endorsement?


  #4  
Old April 28th 04, 05:37 AM
EDR
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Default


My recommendation...
Begin in a 108 hp Citabria (if available)
the low powered aircraft will teach you more about proper control input)
Move up to a fixed pitch 150 hp Decathlon
this gives you a symetrical wing (heavier control inputs) and a little
more hp to work with.
Next step is the 180 hp, constant speed prop, Super Decathlon
this aircraft will take you up through Intermediate and some of the
Advanced competion maneuvers.
After you have mastered the Super Decathlon, you will have sufficient
experience to handle most of the high performance acro mounts.
  #5  
Old April 28th 04, 05:51 AM
EDR
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Default

In article [email protected], John Harper
wrote:

The tailwheel thing (which IS an endorsement) is kind of a pain,
especially wheel landings, but an awful lot of fun planes
are taildraggers so it's more when than if, imo. The Citabria
(and Decathlon) is especially fiendish because of the
bounce-o-matic spring steel gear.


If you had an instructor who knows the aircraft, they would have taught
you the proper way to land the Citabria/Decathlon without bouncing, be
it a wheel landing or three-point. Airspeed control and pitch attitude
determine your rate of descent.
With wheel landings, the pitch attitude is flat or slightly tail low,
you land at flying speed, which gives you a slow rate of descent, the
wheels will roll on with increasing forward stick pressure as you
reduce throttle. Some people will tell you to "pop" the stick forward
when the wheels make contact to keep them planted.
For three-point landings, too fast and you float, just like with a
tricycle gear aircraft. Too slow, your pitch attitude and sink rate
will be too high. At the roundout, pitch attitude should be the same as
when you are sitting on the ground. On airspeed, you will arrive at the
threshhold at this attitude, just above stall, the wheels will gently
settle onto the surface.
  #6  
Old April 28th 04, 11:53 AM
calafradulistic
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Posts: n/a
Default

yep certainly does require an endorsement in Oz.

"Peter Duniho" wrote in message
...
"John Harper" wrote in message
news:[email protected]
Assuming you're in the US, there's no such thing as an aerobatic
endorsement.


Assuming the origin of his post is any indication, he's from Australia.
Maybe they do have an aerobatic endorsement?




  #7  
Old April 28th 04, 03:39 PM
Rick Durden
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Posts: n/a
Default

Anthony,

You might want to go to AVweb (www.avweb.com), then click on
"columns", then on "The Pilot's Lounge" and scroll down to the column
on aerobatics. It has a discussion of the more common sorts of akro
trainers.

Any of the ones you named will work just fine. It doesn't matter as
to the type of airplane in which you take your initial training. The
smaller, lower powered ones will require more work on your part, but
you will be able to handle anything after that.

All the best,
Rick

"Anthony Hewitt." wrote in message u...
Good afternoon all.

Im seriously contemplating beginning an aerobatics endorsement.

I have been flying for 2 years and want to "add".

I have done plenty of research and have narrowed it down to a number of
aeroplanes:

The Zlin (sp?)
The Citabria
The Cessna aerobat.

I know the Decathlon and Zlin are faster and more manueverable but they are
also significantly more expensive for lessons (and I dont like the idea of
learning to fly a tailwheel unless its essential).

Question is, does the Cessna provide enough enjoyment ( I know it loops,
but...) or is it really a Clayton's aerobatics aircraft. Basically, will I
have enough fun in it to get by? Im interested in those whove flown some of
these and what their thoughts were.

Thanks and regards,
AH.

  #8  
Old April 28th 04, 09:04 PM
ShawnD2112
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Posts: n/a
Default

A
Here's my opinion, for what it's worth.
Let's start with the tailwheel thing. Absolutely learn to fly one. In my
opinion, every pilot should start learning in a tailwheel airplane without
an electrical system and at a grass strip. That's real stick and rudder
flying and that's where you really learn how to maneuver an airplane. The
rest is just junk added on. If you don't take the time to master a
taildragger, nearly all worthwhile aerobatic aircraft will be forever out of
your reach. Not only will it teach you excellent flying skills, taildragger
flying is a hell of a lot of fun, usually involves interesting airplanes,
and gives you an immense sense of satisfaction. It may be more expensive
but you'll never regret the skills, the experience, or the horizons it opens
up for you. I've been flying tailwheel airplanes for over 5 years now and
haven't been in anything with a nosewheel since.

As for the types you mentioned, I'm by no means an expert on the Citabria or
the Zlin. I do know that the Zlin was a top of the line aerobatic
competition aircraft in it's day and still has a good reputation as a
performance machine. Both it and the Citabria were designed for aerobatics
specifically. The C152 wasn't. It's a basic trainer with some mods (and
don't ask me what they are) to increase it's load capability. I wouldn't
waste my time with a 152. There are others that disagree, saying "if you
can aerobat and Aerobat, you can aerobat anything", and they may be right,
but I never bothered. It's roll rate is pedestrian in the extreme, it can
perform vertically for about it's own length, and it's a right bugger to
spin and keep spinning. I think you'd quickly find the aerobat either
limiting or frustrating.

My own progression was 125 hours in 152s, including PPL training
10 hours Tailwheel training in a SuperDecathalon (loads of fun, first loop
and roll, too!)
150 hours in Cubs and Taylorcraft (which is where I really learned to fly)
75 hours in a Pitts S-1D

With that much tailwheel time (most of it spent maneuvering in all
conditions in the pattern), transition to the Pitts was a piece of cake.
That's when I started my aerobatic training, took a few lessons from
international competition pilots, asked a lot of questions of experts,
climbed to 5,000 feet and tried a few things out. Haven't scared myself yet
(except once in the 152 as a student!), but I know my limits and I stay very
far away from them.

As always, your mileage may vary, but that's my advice. Of course, the
quality of the instruction that comes with each of these airplanes you
mentioned will be a major factor as well. Good luck and let us know how you
get on!

Shawn






"Anthony Hewitt." wrote in message
...
Good afternoon all.

Im seriously contemplating beginning an aerobatics endorsement.

I have been flying for 2 years and want to "add".

I have done plenty of research and have narrowed it down to a number of
aeroplanes:

The Zlin (sp?)
The Citabria
The Cessna aerobat.

I know the Decathlon and Zlin are faster and more manueverable but they

are
also significantly more expensive for lessons (and I dont like the idea of
learning to fly a tailwheel unless its essential).

Question is, does the Cessna provide enough enjoyment ( I know it loops,
but...) or is it really a Clayton's aerobatics aircraft. Basically, will I
have enough fun in it to get by? Im interested in those whove flown some

of
these and what their thoughts were.

Thanks and regards,
AH.




 




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