News:




  • August 18, 2018, 04:06:55 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern  (Read 1039 times)

Offline Ted Fancher

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 1611
Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« on: July 16, 2018, 07:02:40 PM »
I had posted the attached document, written as a handout for Uncle Jimby's recent Stunt Clinic, as a post on an earlier thread titled "Roast me, Pattern video critique request" which has mostly run out of steam.  Nonetheless, I noted a number of Stunt-Hangar-Ons" had downloaded it.  I thought it might be a good idea to repeat the attachment on a thread of its own in case there are others who might be interested in "Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern.

The document came about as the result of some thoughts Dan McEntee had posted in the thread "Where/How to look when flying" which caused me to think about how much of what he had to say reflected my own approach to flying the pattern--in a way I had never considered.  From watching hundreds of flights by many champions over the years I believe it reflects the way they "see" what they fly whether they've thought about it or not.

If nothing else, it might generate some debate.  Be forewarned, the total is about six pages of Ted "streaming".

Ted Fancher

please note that there are two attachments shown in error.  They are identical downloads.


Offline Dane Martin

  • 2017
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 2085
  • heli pilot BHOR
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2018, 07:32:33 PM »
That was a very good read Ted. Thank you.
I did in fact go out to practice today. However, during my warm up flight, I made unwanted contact between my rudder and the ground. Nothing bad, but I broke a prop and didn't have spares. I didn't bring any spares because I haven't needed them in quite some time! So practice tomorrow.
Anyway. Thanks for doing this.

Offline Ken Culbertson

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2018, 12:26:39 AM »

If nothing else, it might generate some debate.  Be forewarned, the total is about six pages of Ted "streaming".
Ted Fancher
You need to write more.  Every time I read one of your essays I have one of those "Ah Ha" moments.  Ever since I have been flying competitive stunt I have never crashed because "I" blew a bottom.  I have busted a couple of props on hourglasses when I misread a thermal downdraft or two and was completely surprised when the plane didn't appear in front of me after the corner.  I was taught, although differently, to visualize where I wanted the plane to go and let my reflexes make it go there.  Bob Gieseke taught me to "see the flats" and make corners to connect them. I have never had to think about what control input to give it just happens.  The "Ah Ha" is that I never hit the ground BECAUSE I NEVER SEE IT!   All I "see" is that imaginary line where I want the plane to be.  It also explains how I can sit out 35 years and fly a 433 at a contest on my third full pattern since coming back.  I am going to find out Saturday and see if a old dog can learn a new trick and see the whole maneuver.  Thanks!

Now a specific question.  You wrote about handle position being straight without any down bias.  If you relax your wrist and let it naturally center itself and close your fingers you do have some down bias.  I fly the plane with my wrist and elbow but I control it with my fingers.  In level flight only my fingers are working and my wrist is centered.  If I have to cock my wrist up to make my fingers form a vertical line I have very little up motion left in my wrist.  I adjust my handle to remove the bias at the point the lines attach which is about 3/4" from my fingers.  The second part is keeping my wrist vertical in inverted level flight.  This may remain my last vice.  I just cannot keep from hunting unless I am flying palms up and my fingers don't seem to care.

Thank you for what you do for this sport!

Ken
AMA 15382

If it is not broke, don't fix it.

Offline Joe Ed Pederson

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Ensign
  • **
  • Posts: 49
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2018, 05:48:30 AM »
Ted,

Many thanks for the post above. I have a question.  Under "General Comments" you wrote, "The handle should be held at shoulder height roughly in the center of the pilot's body so that it is between the pilot's dominant eye and the airplane."

My dominant eye is my left eye, but I'm right handed.  Having a dominant left eye and being right handed makes it difficult to saw with a hand saw.  I can't see when the saw is vertical in my right hand because my left eye is dominant.   It would seem I would also be working against myself and my dominant left eye to fly right handed.

I'm only starting out at stunt and have barely learned to fly upside down up high.  I wonder if I should start over and learn to fly left handed.  What do you think?

Joe Ed Pederson

Offline jfv

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 414
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2018, 07:31:57 AM »
Thank you Ted.  Always enjoy read your stuff.  Your Imitation article is one of my favorites.
Jim Vigani

Offline Randy Powell

  • 2016 supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 9913
  • TreeTop Flyer
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2018, 12:50:04 PM »
Well, nothing really new, but I have listened to Ted expound on stunt for quite awhile. Everything he says has merit and I continue to learn from him.
Member in good standing of P.I.S.T
(Politically Incorrect Stunt Team)
AMA 67711

Randy Powell

Offline Doug Moon

  • 2017
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 1855
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2018, 01:55:25 PM »


Now a specific question.  You wrote about handle position being straight without any down bias.  If you relax your wrist and let it naturally center itself and close your fingers you do have some down bias.  I fly the plane with my wrist and elbow but I control it with my fingers.  In level flight only my fingers are working and my wrist is centered.  If I have to cock my wrist up to make my fingers form a vertical line I have very little up motion left in my wrist.  I adjust my handle to remove the bias at the point the lines attach which is about 3/4" from my fingers.  The second part is keeping my wrist vertical in inverted level flight.  This may remain my last vice.  I just cannot keep from hunting unless I am flying palms up and my fingers don't seem to care.

Thank you for what you do for this sport!

Ken

Hello Ken,

Yes when you fly with your wrist straight up and down you have little up movement and that WOULD be a problem if you didn't actually fly the plane with your whole arm. We all do it.  Some more than others but we do.  If your arm were being held dead still in a clamp and you only had wrist movement there would be issues.   As you add up input it is a natural tendency to pull with your arm and that creates the up input.  Same goes for the down input but it is much less so and in some cases almost non existent arm movement.  So you need all the wrist motion you can get on the down side.  If you have your wrist in a relaxed down position you will have a lot less movement available to you do to the range of motion being reduced due to the starting position. 

For me outside corners and rounds always feel more like a finesse move as I fly them more on my wrist.  Inside stuff is more of a slam and bam as I fly them with a little more, not much, arm movement. 

Straight up and down for me. 
Doug Moon
AMA 496454
Dougmoon12@yahoo.com

Offline Eric Viglione

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 1078
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2018, 02:46:06 PM »
It has to do with your tendon length, based on the BEND of your arm. Sure, if you arm is straight out in front of you, your upper tendons tighten up and lower lengthen.

Try this Ken: Bend you elbow so that your handle is chest high, centered on your body about 1ft in front of you. Now how much up vs/ down movement is in your wrist? BOOM! It should now be equal up/down travel.

This is the desired stunt stance for a reason. You are now centered on your body, can sight the plane better in relation to the lines, and "draw" the shapes with more precision than side arming it

PS: don't ask how I know! I thought my buds were going to hit me with cattle prod's every time I dropped my arm back down to the right.

EricV
« Last Edit: July 18, 2018, 08:32:54 AM by Eric Viglione »
76070

Offline Ted Fancher

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 1611
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2018, 02:48:58 PM »
snip

This may remain my last vice.  I just cannot keep from hunting unless I am flying palms up and my fingers don't seem to care.

Thank you for what you do for this sport!

Ken

Truth be told, Ken, I suffer from the same impossible to cure palm up with my body always behind the airplane inverted problem.  (You musn't tell anyone else!)  Unlike many, nobody ever told me not to do so it just, somehow, came about naturally starting when I was about 10 years old and had only my slightly older brother to counsel me (not sure which of us had the greater hours in his log book, however) .  As a result inverted flight was always my worst maneuver; something I should have fixed but never did.

Here's the problem with doing so.  Every time the position of the airplane relative to your handle changes...i.e. it gets ahead or behind it's "perfect" position relative to that flat handle at which it tracks straight...it's relationship to handle neutral changes and the airplane will climb or descend as a result.  What exacerbates this (don't ask how I know) there is also an unconscious tendency to fly the airplane off to the pilot's right (CCW flight) instead of in front of him/her as I championed in the piece.  This self inflicted loss of points largely goes away if the airplane is kept in front of the pilot with the handle held vertically!

Clearly, like many of the things I advocated in the piece, the disadvantages can be overcome given enough flights and diligence.  My memory tells me that my noticable decay in inverted flight developed when I lost the only driveable close flying site I had for daily practice.  The rest of my pattern didn't seem to decay much when legitimate sites became one to one and a half hours each way but the problem with inverted remained.

What I might have said about handle position that I failed to in the piece was that the value of a vertical (reference to level to the ground) grip is that as the aircraft rises or descends and the handle rises and falls in its miniature version of the maneuver the relationship to the handle remains essentially constant and thus inputs required for inside/outsides at any point on the sphere remain largely consistent and, thus, the inputs do as well.

Here's a little test.  Hold your hand and arm out as though in level flight with the handle biased "down" in the pistol grip manner and note how much "minor" input arms (fingers and wrist) are fully available for insides but severely restricted for outsides.  Note that some elbow or arm input is required for down inputs vice insides.   Now tilt your back the wrong way for an overhead and notice how the restriction on outsides is much greater and will almost require moving back toward the ground to achieve the necessary control input.  Doing so simultaneously pulls the airplane down toward mother earth which may help line tension in that outside but when you get back to the intersection for the second inside your handle moves toward the airplane costing you line tension at what might be one of the most critical points to not do so.

Enough.  I'll end up with another six pager!

Ted

Offline Ted Fancher

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 1611
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2018, 02:51:52 PM »
snip

PS: don't ask how I know! I thought my buds were going to hit me with cattle prod's every time I dropped my arm back down to the right.


EricV

Where did you ever find those brilliant buds, Eric?

Offline Ken Culbertson

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2018, 03:33:17 PM »
Hello Ken,

Yes when you fly with your wrist straight up and down you have little up movement and that WOULD be a problem if you didn't actually fly the plane with your whole arm. We all do it.  Some more than others but we do.  If your arm were being held dead still in a clamp and you only had wrist movement there would be issues.   As you add up input it is a natural tendency to pull with your arm and that creates the up input.  Same goes for the down input but it is much less so and in some cases almost non existent arm movement.  So you need all the wrist motion you can get on the down side.  If you have your wrist in a relaxed down position you will have a lot less movement available to you do to the range of motion being reduced due to the starting position. 

For me outside corners and rounds always feel more like a finesse move as I fly them more on my wrist.  Inside stuff is more of a slam and bam as I fly them with a little more, not much, arm movement. 

Straight up and down for me.
Doug:

I tried something last week that convinces me to give this "Up and Down" thing a try.  If I am going to make changes, now is the time to do it so it will be background noise by the next contest.  I flew a couple of patterns with a 10' "Hard deck" last week just so I could watch what I was doing without letting the plane find out just how firma the terra was.  I found out that I use my fingers far more than I thought in corners, which is probably a good thing,  and way more arm on outsides that I thought.  I mean elbow locked stiff-arm on the helmet more.   I will bet it is that "arm" that is giving me that slight overturn and occasion pop (stall) and severely inconsistent bottoms on outside corners that I never had before and is probably the reason I go palms up inverted.  Drives me crazy.  I also found out how hard it is to do 10' bottoms intentionally. 

So, just as my pattern was starting to not look like crap from getting used to the footwork changes,  I have to make my pattern look like crap while I learn all the new handle positions?  I thought so....  If you promise not to laugh at my level inverted laps till I get this new handle position mastered I will give it a shot.

Ken
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 04:28:38 PM by Ken Culbertson »
AMA 15382

If it is not broke, don't fix it.

Offline Chris Belcher

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Commander
  • ****
  • Posts: 239
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2018, 03:41:22 PM »
What Doug said...I've learned more from him and Mike Scott in a couple of years flying with them than I did in the past 30. We are SO SO lucky to have 2 Nats winners at our field and both are so willing to help!!

Chris

Offline Ken Culbertson

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2018, 04:23:59 PM »

.....nobody ever told me not to do so it just, somehow, came about naturally starting when I was about 10 years old

Enough.  I'll end up with another six pager!

Ted
Ted:

I was 12 and I know it was from trying to keep up with my Nobler which flew faster than I turned.  I just let it pull me around.  I kind got used to rolling my wrist and looking over my shoulder and running in tiny circles.  I guess I just got good at it. 

As usual, your explanation of why I need to change makes so much sense that I wonder why I never figured it out "back when".  What is going to be interesting is to see if my subconscious learns quick enough that I am not upright just because my palm is not up and pancake me when I tell it to start the outside loops!

Ken
AMA 15382

If it is not broke, don't fix it.

Offline Ted Fancher

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 1611
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2018, 05:25:19 PM »
Ted,

Many thanks for the post above. I have a question.  Under "General Comments" you wrote, "The handle should be held at shoulder height roughly in the center of the pilot's body so that it is between the pilot's dominant eye and the airplane."

My dominant eye is my left eye, but I'm right handed.  Having a dominant left eye and being right handed makes it difficult to saw with a hand saw.  I can't see when the saw is vertical in my right hand because my left eye is dominant.   It would seem I would also be working against myself and my dominant left eye to fly right handed.

I'm only starting out at stunt and have barely learned to fly upside down up high.  I wonder if I should start over and learn to fly left handed.  What do you think?

Joe Ed Pederson

Welcome to the fraternity, Joe Ed.

First thing I'll say to you is "NO".  That is, don't try to fly off handed.  Unless you're a uniquely gifted switch hitter it's unlikely you'll be able to develop the dexterity necessary with your off hand.  After all, your eyes...both of 'em...work together as a team about 99.9% of the time.  You're very unlikely to get that kind of co-operation from your left hand!  If I had a decent editor he probably would have told me that comment was "a step too far".  Don't let my ostentatious B.S.ing concern you.  I can see why close up work, re your "saw" experience, might concern you as I suspect that is a near vision issue.  You might ask your eye doc for a professional opinion re near and far vision effects and if he differs we might have to discuss the relative merits.

One final comment, however, if you can't throw strikes left handed I would be much inclined to disregard flying with it!

Ted

p.s. Some attempts at humor in the above.  If you find my analysis insensitive to your first hand experience. please forgive me and we can start over. :-\ :-\

Offline Ted Fancher

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 1611
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2018, 05:31:18 PM »
Ted:

I was 12 and I know it was from trying to keep up with my Nobler which flew faster than I turned.  I just let it pull me around.  I kind got used to rolling my wrist and looking over my shoulder and running in tiny circles.  I guess I just got good at it. 

As usual, your explanation of why I need to change makes so much sense that I wonder why I never figured it out "back when".  What is going to be interesting is to see if my subconscious learns quick enough that I am not upright just because my palm is not up and pancake me when I tell it to start the outside loops!

Ken

Funny Ken.  Once you mentioned it I can almost feel myself getting pulled around to the right and my feet trying to catch up, too.  Sounds like a good excuse so I'll stick with it, too.  I hope the suggestions prove helpful although I'm not sharing my home address lest your last 15 or 20 words prove prophetic.

Ted

Offline Joe Ed Pederson

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Ensign
  • **
  • Posts: 49
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2018, 08:30:15 PM »
Ted,

No offense taken.  I really appreciate Stunthanger and all the help and mentoring available from the many pilots and builders that are willing to share their hard earned knowledge.  H^^


I'm far from being fluent with both hands and arms, so I'll stick with flying right handed.  Now if I can just get some practice time in.

Thanks again,
Joe Ed

Offline Ted Fancher

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 1611
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2018, 12:30:56 PM »
Thank you Ted.  Always enjoy read your stuff.  Your Imitation article is one of my favorites.

Thanks, Jim.  Glad you enjoyed the Imitation article.  It was a very illuminating project from which I learned a lot!

Ted

Offline Ted Fancher

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 1611
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2018, 12:34:28 PM »
What Doug said...I've learned more from him and Mike Scott in a couple of years flying with them than I did in the past 30. We are SO SO lucky to have 2 Nats winners at our field and both are so willing to help!!

Chris

Chris, you are fortunate indeed.  Participating in clinics from time to time demonstrates the wisdom of your observation.  Suggestions are always well intentioned but informed ones are a rarer breed. A few Nats wins are certainly good credentials!

Ted

Offline Joe Ed Pederson

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Ensign
  • **
  • Posts: 49
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2018, 05:28:02 PM »
Ted,

In downloadable document in your first post you talk about setting the CG at 20% to start out if you have a tail that is 25% of wing area.  At this point I'm flying a Carl Goldberg Cosmic Wind built by a friend in the 1960s.   I measured and did the math.   The tail is roughly 12.5% of the wing area.

The balance point is 1.5" back from the LE which is roughly 16.6% (center chord 11" tip chord 7" which I averaged to 9" effective chord. So, 1.5 divided by 9 = 16.6%).   With such a small tail area should I leave the CG at 1.5" or add small amounts of tail weight until the glide starts to suffer?

Thanks,
Joe Ed

Offline Ted Fancher

  • 2018 Supporter
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Admiral
  • *
  • Posts: 1611
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2018, 05:46:46 PM »
Ted,

In downloadable document in your first post you talk about setting the CG at 20% to start out if you have a tail that is 25% of wing area.  At this point I'm flying a Carl Goldberg Cosmic Wind built by a friend in the 1960s.   I measured and did the math.   The tail is roughly 12.5% of the wing area.

The balance point is 1.5" back from the LE which is roughly 16.6% (center chord 11" tip chord 7" which I averaged to 9" effective chord. So, 1.5 divided by 9 = 16.6%).   With such a small tail area should I leave the CG at 1.5" or add small amounts of tail weight until the glide starts to suffer?

Thanks,
Joe Ed

Joe Ed,

Very glad you asked that question!  I hope you get this response  before you fly the ship.

Something I should have made clear in that prior discussion is that it pertained solely to "conventionally configured" stunters with flaps (the VAST majority of "competition intended" stunt ship designs you're ever likely to encounter). 

A safe and proper approximate CG for first flights of an unflapped airplane is much different.  To get this to you quickly I'll just tell you that without flaps you should aim for a CG location of ~15% of the average chord.  Although a big enough tail can make an unflapped ship technically "stable"...i.e. it can be flown safely...it will provide little or no resistance to pitch commands and will thus provide little "feel" feedback to the pilot which is a seldom mentioned but important part of how a pilot interacts with his airplane.

I'll add a more complete answer in a bit but, again, wanted to get this plain statement out to you ASAP.

Ted Fancher

Offline Joe Ed Pederson

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Ensign
  • **
  • Posts: 49
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2018, 06:42:54 PM »
Ted,

No need to rush for my sake.  I can't go flying until Friday at the earliest.


Joe Ed

Offline Ken Culbertson

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Captain
  • *****
  • Posts: 503
Re: Some fresh thoughts on flying the pattern
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2018, 11:41:25 PM »
Funny Ken.  Once you mentioned it I can almost feel myself getting pulled around to the right and my feet trying to catch up, too.  Sounds like a good excuse so I'll stick with it, too.  I hope the suggestions prove helpful although I'm not sharing my home address lest your last 15 or 20 words prove prophetic.

Ted
There should be a rule about flying something this big when you are that small!  I can't remember how many times I rebuilt that plane.
Ken
AMA 15382

If it is not broke, don't fix it.


Tags: