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Getting started in Aerobatics

cougar6903

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Posts
276
Total Time
>2000
Just took my first aerobatic flight after finishing my tailwheel training and still can't get the smile off my face :) . It was just in-depth spin training today but still lots of fun. I have a few questions about perusing aerobatics further.



The airport I did my tailwheel in only has a Citabria 115hp. Will that be enough to really get me into aerobatics? Should I go to another airport that has a Super decathalon or pitts?



What is the next step after I get comfortable in the Citabria/Pitts to get into competition? Buy my own single seat Pitts? (don't think I can afford a 2 seater but the single's seem to be in my price range at about 35-40K.



Info from any experienced acro guys/gals would be greatly appreciated.
 

FutureTEDpilot

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2004
Posts
174
Total Time
9500+
Welcome to the wonderful world of Aerobatics!

I highly suggest you join the IAC, which is a division of EAA, from there you will find a list of COMPETENT Aerobatic Instructors, which will be more than happy to assist you into becomming a competition aerobatic pilot.

I highly also recommend a complete SPIN course before you go solo a Pitts S-1, to inlcude Flat, Crossover, and Inveted spins. I would recommend a school that has a Pitts S-2B which is an excellent aircraft for training not only for acro but to check you out for a single seater....

If you get the chance come out to an Aerobatic Competition and feel free to talk to any of us, we are more than glad to help get you started, it seems that our membership is getting lower and lower so we really want new members in the sport.

Enjoy and GO FOR IT!!!
 

Immelman

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 10, 2002
Posts
324
Total Time
340
I have about ~30 hrs aerobatic time in a 7GCAA & 7KCAB... so not that much experience. However I can tell you that the 115-pony 7ECA will leave much to be desired, unless, perhaps, you're half tanks, solo, and at a low density altitude (however it may make you a more competent pilot in the end as you'll be better at energy management).. the extra punch of 150hp in that light of an aircraft makes dual-instruction that much more enjoyable, though.

Second, the majority of my time was in the 7GCAA.. no inverted fuel-oil, so you had to be careful with the negative Gs (only positive G maneuvers). On more than one occasion the belly would be oil-soaked after hammerhead practice. Not fun to clean up. The KCAB, on the other hand, had an inverted system.. just a bit more convenient. If you plan to compete, I understand that the slow roll is a standard maneuver and you will ideally want something with an inverted system to do those correctly (positive G "aileron rolls" are, as far as I know, not a competition maneuver).

I really miss aerobatics and it was probably the most fun flying I've done in a while. If I got back into it (which is on my mind lately) I think I'd have to try out a Decathlon to see what the symmetrical airfoil is like. Even with the inverted system on the KCAB, flying upside down was a pain because of the pitch difference (because it did not have a symmetrical wing).

Oh, and one more piece of advice: aerobatics in Citabrias is a lot more fun with aileron spades... otherwise rolls require significant muscle.

As always, train with a competent, conservative, and experienced acro instructor. I lucked out; I worked for an ex-USAF pilot who had started a pt 61 flight school and Citabria aerobatic instruction was my pay. I loved it..

EDIT: one additional thing about the Decathlon and other higher-performance aircraft: constant speed props! In the little Citabrias messing with the throttle mid-maneuver is one more distraction (to avoid redlining) that is lessened if you have a const. speed prop.
 
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BD King

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2004
Posts
407
Total Time
14000
The 7ECA is just fine. It'll make ya work and appreciate energy management. Dead stick akro in it is a blast.
 

wrxpilot

The proud, the few
Joined
Jun 26, 2004
Posts
901
Total Time
-
Sure is fun isn't it? I just started aerobatic training about a week ago... I wasn't sure what to expect, so I was a little nervous about it. But as soon as I sat in the 8KCAB decathlon that all turned into enjoyable flying excitement! I can tell this is going to be a very addictive side of aviation.
 
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