Aerobatic training is a must in the career of any pilot. It helps the pilot learn pro lessons and understand different aspects of flight maneuvering. When you ask any of the experienced pilots they will tell you why aerobatic training can be really crucial for any pilot. It makes the job much easier and it helps the pilots recover during difficult conditions. Some of the important points that relate to the field of aircraft training are:
Confidence: Once you are done with aerobatic training then you will be more confident in your approach. There is nothing better than finishing of a challenging task. During your training phase you get to learn all the important recovery actions that help you during any difficult situation. This gives you the confidence to fly the plane during different conditions and get rid of the fear.
Knowledge: You need to have full knowledge of all the aspects related to aerobatics. One cannot get to fly a plane if he does not have proper knowledge in this field. Whether it is about steel roof constructionor flying a plane it is really important to have proper knowledge. You just need to be a pro in order to become a pilot. You not only risk your life but you risk the life of others without proper knowledge. During your aerobatic training you not only get to learn about the different tactics involved in the field of flying but the instructors also make you mentally strong. They train you to face all the hardships that can come in your way and give you the motivation to get rid of any kind of fear. The psychological training is as important as the engineering aspects involved in this field.
Kinesthetic feel: You need to be aware of the capabilities of the plane that you are flying. It is important that you understand the load factor and carry objects that meet the capacity of the plane. There are different “G” loads in the plane and you need to be aware of the kinesthetic feel in a coordinated flight. You need to be instinctively correct when you’re flying the plane. Go with your instincts and do what you feel would be the best. Aerobatic training helps you in making correct decisions at the right time. If you are not able to take the right decision on time then you might land in trouble. This training gives you the power to take instinctive decision without compromising on the safety.
Proper motor skills: Professionalism is important in every field and same is the case with aircraft. You get to learn proper motor skills when you go through aerobatic training and this helps you in the long run. These skills are really important when there is any kind of turbulence or your flight goes through unwanted conditions. Motor skills can come in handy during a crash or when your plane is not able to land properly. It helps in understanding any kind of unusual behavior and maneuver the flight successfully. Physically practicing this method can help in improving your instincts.
Aerobatics involves death-defying stunts and adrenaline-pumping sorties that can be scary for most but incredibly invigorating for some, especially those trainee pilots who have to undergo several hours of acrobatic training. Only a handful amongst us is fortunate enough to man the controls of a fighter or acrobatic aircraft that has to be maneuvered dexterously while performing those spine-chilling stunts. It surely gives the pilot a high to completely turn the aircraft upside down or fly it dangerously low to the ground defying gravity.
But are you aware that every such daredevil feat is the culmination of endless hours of extremely regimented training? Only a few are chosen to sit inside the cockpit after meticulously screening thousands of overenthusiastic applicants. From the time aerobatics originated, this aerial or airborne sport has evolved tremendously. Following are some facts about this aerobatics that are as intriguing and fascinating as the sport itself.
The credit of performing the first aerobatic feat goes to Wright brothers-Orville and Wilbur-who were also the first to fly an improvised version of an airplane. It was in the month of September in 1904 that the brothers made the plane (which they’d constructed themselves) take a complete 360˚ turn. They pulled off this heart-stopping feat in the absence of ailerons (present in modern-day aircrafts) that are instrumental in making the aircraft tilt to the right or left rendering the stunt unmistakably death-defying.
Lincoln Beachley, an American pilot is regarded as the ‘father of aerobatics’ since he was the one who pioneered this mid-air sport. He amused and thrilled crowds by enacting ‘death dips’.
It was in the year 1927 in Zurich, Switzerland where the first ever international aerobatic event was staged.
The names or terminologies of the aerobatics feats or tricks are as bizarre and exotic as the exploits. Sample these-Chandelle, Dive, Loop, Roll, Barrel Roll, Wingover, Hammerhead turn, and Cuban Eight.
Since 1950, not a single pilot has met with a fatalistic mishap while performing stunts or feats up in the air.
An aircraft suitable for aerobatic training and performing acrobatic stunts in the air is termed as an aerodyne and is extensively used both in air-shows and aerobatic competitions. Such aircrafts are usually classified under two categories- training aircrafts used for aerobatic training and for air-show demonstrations. It goes without saying that aircrafts used for aerobatic grooming are completely distinct and different from theairplanes used for general or civil aviation. The aircrafts mainly used for aerobatic maneuvering happen to be gliders, military helicopters, and VTOLs. However, the class or category of aircrafts that are used most widely for the aforementioned purpose are called aerobatic aircrafts.
It doesn’t need to be emphasized that aerobatic airplanes has to go through stringent quality control tests to doubly make sure that the same stay controllable through the gamut of manueuvres. Aircrafts certified the aerobatic training are constructed meticulously so that these can tolerate high-level stress arising out of spine-chilling and adrenaline-pumping maneuvers. This type of airplane has some unique structural features that you won’t find in a normal passenger or civil aviation aircraft including but not limited to a bubbled canopied cockpit, quick-exit doors or canopies, toned down oil and gasoline systems for making possible fully manipulated capsized or inverted flights, and extremely robust cockpits with heavily buttressed seat as well as shoulder belts that holds the pilot in place.
One brand of aerobatic aircraft that is heavily used by aerobatic training teams around the world is the Extra 300L. This aircraft has all the required certificates to operate or fly as an acrobatic, utility, and passenger airplane. The Extra 300L despite being an LCA has the capability of demonstrating high-class aerobatics as it tolerates up to +10 G/-10 G of gravitational force (both pulls and pushes). At the same time, the Extra 300L is a comfortable flying machine.
If you experience an inexplicable thrill while watching a fighter aircraft soaring high above in the sky, doing somersaults, and plunging downwards at breakneck speeds, then just imagine the adrenaline rush that the pilot has poised inside the cockpit. All fighter pilots have to go through rigorous aerobatic training before they can become a full-fledged airman capable of participating in airstrikes and sorties as well as partake in aerobatic shows with equal élan. Aerobatic training enables the trainee pilot to become acclimatized to extreme flying conditions by learning to cope with unforeseen or abnormal altitude situations.
At the outset, you might have the feeling that acute aerobatic or aircraft maneuvering skills may seem incongruous with most of the normal flight situations. However, you’ve that feeling because the type of aircraft used for aerobatic training is completely different (in terms of construction or structure) from general or civil aviation aircraft. In a training ‘extra 300 SL aircraft’, the cockpit is in same plane as the craft’s centerline unlike that of a civil aircraft where the seating arrangements are on either side of the centerline.
Additionally, the cockpit in a trainee aircraft has a balloon-shaped canopy that offers the pilot a wider viewing range or scope. The pilot makes the most of this benefit especially when he needs to see the horizon in the event of an upsetting altitude situation. Furthermore, a 300 SL is maneuvered with the help of a yoke whereas a passenger craft is controlled by a joystick. Despite identical operation mechanisms, the feel (of using the stick is different). Finally, a 300 SL is easier to maneuver compared to a general aviation airplane. Aerobatic training is necessary for learning the ropes of emergency take offs and landings. The overarching objective of imparting aerobatic training is to make trainees aware of the behavior of airplanes vis-à-vis aerodynamics in order to hone their life-saving skills during stressful situations.