The history of Aerobatic Flight
All eyes below are fixated to the antique World War II as Stearman falls from
above, the downward spiral towards disaster. The vintage biplane fell faster and
faster still, the growl of its powerful motor grows louder. The pilot was
obviously doomed looses control and almost crashed when suddenly, a few inches
from the tarmac, the Stearman roared into the blue sky to the cheering crowd
below. This is the exciting world of acrobatic flight!
Aerobatic flight, a special area of aviation, is defined as "precise
maneuvering in the three-dimensional space." Maneuvering is broken into three
components - position, speed and the altitude. A manual aerobatic plane's
position is to be precisely controlled in all three axes (yaw, roll and pitch)
and could quickly be shifted to any of the other positions.
Lincoln Beachey has been widely recognized to be the "father" aerobatic flight,
even if none other than the Wright Brothers as a first step dismissed his
exploits as mere "optical illusions." All these skeptics were changed during a
now legendary-multi-city tour Barnstorming during 1914 when Beachey, then known
as "the crazy flyer", dazzled crowds all over the country waterfalls at the
wheel of his aircraft, Little Looper. Lighting like Thomas Edison or even Carl
Sandburg also became aerobatics fans and even the Wright Brothers recanted his
original comment, saying Beachey's exhibitions such as poetry.
Evolving from the air at the beginning of the race and had military training,
these first aerobatic planes are generally oversized but short. These factors
produced a performance aerobatic rather dull (today's standards) for handling
aircraft was slow and the ability to mount vertically was challenged.
Despite the improvements of equipment that allows flight capacity reversed (such
as improved wings, oil and fuel systems), even the best aerobatic aircraft can
not fly for long periods in attitudes abnormal flight. The engine speed and wash
from the spinning propeller as a result of an airplane react differently when
maneuvered going right than when going to the left of aerobatics-forcing the
pilot to learn from their maneuvers in both direction. These limitations are as
that no aerodynamic aerobatic plane produced can effectively fight on the side
of the claim of the glowing "knife edge" rises or turns notwithstanding.
Strong aerobatic biplanes, Gulfhawk II, aroused much enthusiasm on the air
circuit in 1936 until 1948, performing in the World's Fair, Cleveland Air Race,
and All-America’s Miami Air Shows. Originally designed by Grumman, Gulfhawk II
has been specially designed to support under the high structure stress aerobatic
flight and then changed to support upside-down flying for periods of no more
than 30 minutes.
The face of aerobatic flight was changed forever around 1945; Curtis Pitts made
the first airplane designed specifically for aerobatics, the Pitts’ Special S-1.
Pitts had envisioned an aircraft that would defy gravity and meet its controls,
on a smaller plane that war era biplane, which could roll, climb, and maneuver
quickly. Pitts has dismissed the concept of big radial engines and designed a
sweep-winged aircraft powered by a small, light, horizontally opposed motor with
the centre of gravity that made it possible to snap tight
Line Pitts aerobatic aircraft-small (with only 17 feet (5 meters) wingspan),
light and very agile with great power-weight-soon dominated aerobatics
challenges. The more famous of the Pitts planes, a hand-crafted S-1C known as
Little Stinker, flown by another pioneer of aerobatics, Betty Skelton, who did
win her first wife's International Aerobatic Championship at the age of 23 and
she won again the next year. At that time there were few women that were
A Dictionary of acrobatic flight, first published in 1961, all securities listed
aerobatic maneuver and definition of the position at that time, 3000 in all.
Today, that list has grown to more than 15000 maneuvers that the pilots test the
capabilities of their aircraft. This shows that the aerobatic maneuvers conform
to the natural evolution of the leak that occurred in the course of history -
which the planes continue to improve the capabilities; skilled pilots learn to
exploit these improvements.