Aerobatics In RVs by Danny King
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This message was originally posted as a reply in the RV-8(A) Yahoo Group

Anything that is new to you (like aerobatics) is going to be a little unsettling at first. While it would be best to perform aerobatics in the type of airplane you plan to fly later, any exposure, even in the lowly C-150 Acrobat can't hurt.  I do a lot of aerobatics in the Doll, and yes, she will build up speed with the nose down and power at "MIL", but that is totally manageable if you keep her loaded up. If you point your RV down with power on and the wings unloaded, you will become a test pilot faster that you can believe.  However, if you are flying any of the traditional aerobatic maneuvers: loop, roll, cloverleaf, immelmen, split S, cuban 8, etc, and you use between 31/2 and 5 "G"s, speed build up will not be a problem. You will end up with a net loss of energy requiring a climb to continue.

The problem with a novice self-teaching is the botched maneuver. This usually happens when orientation is loss. I had a student pilot try to perform a double split S in a Northrop T-38 Talon one day. After his first poorly flown Split S we had about 600 knots due to a low G pull.  Had I allowed him to fly the second Split S from that point we would have been supersonic at a very low altitude.  Obviously, had this young aviator been solo, he would have been a smoking hole in less than 30 seconds.

If a RVator did the same thing, a serious over speed would be a given. Would the airplane survive it? I don't want to find out! The original problem was his loss of orientation. This is why it is important to get instruction in an aerobatic something, with a qualified instructor, so this type of mistake will not be made.

The end game of aerobatic training is the opening up of a world that is as much fun as discovering flight in the first place!  Airplanes operate in three dimensions, and that is the best thing about them.  I urge you to open up your "envelope" and enjoy all the pleasures your RV3, RV4, RV6, RV7, and RV8 has to offer!

Danny King
Beautiful Doll 80434

...and part of another reply on the same topic...

Let me say it one more time: Speed build up on the back side of a loop or any other maneuver is NOT a problem, if the maneuver is flown properly with the proper amount of "G" force applied.  I have let others pilots fly the Doll through loops and Cuban 8's and have had them botch them. High speed dive recovery techniques were applied:


The Doll never came close to the 231 MPH Vne or the 6 G limit.