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.