confuses people. Aileron rolls. Slow rolls. Snap
rolls. Torque rolls. Point rolls. My buddy Spencer
even offers up airborne bagels and croissants.
Many people don't really grok barrel rolls. This
footage from yesterday evening shows it a bit,
from two vantage points:
I love the rearward-facing view! Freddy would be proud.
tail clearance, for safety) actually has a very good
use. It's not just a Stupid Airshow Trick (tm).
When doing a joinup on the lead, three things can
1) you end up behind the lead. Common error -
you are aiming at the lead, instead of in front of
him - you must "lead the lead", as it were.
2) you slide up into position perfectly on inside
echelon (yeah, right) with exactly matching energy.
3) you have much more energy than the lead,
and when you slide up to his altitude, you have
quite a speed delta on him. As briefed, what you
do for safety is stick forward and slide underneath
and outside and above the lead.
However. If you get the hang of this formation
aerobatic thing, it is great fun to take an enormous
run at the lead and intentionally overshoot. Slide
underneath him, with a little nose to tail clearance,
and start doing a barrel roll towards and around him,
and plop down into position on the inside echelon,
as you originally intended.
That has got to be one of the Top Ten Funnest
Things You Can Do With Your Pants On (tm).
Joinups are enormous fun, and actually have
nothing to do whatsoever with the discipline of
I love front quarter rejoins. A few flights back,
Eric and I were rejoining. I was significantly
above him, and I was approaching from his
2 o'clock. So, I pitched up to lose airspeed,
half-rolled inverted, and did a split-S below
and behind him. It's a bit tricky to get the
timing right because of the closure speed,
but I ended up below Eric at his 5 o'clock
with a bucket of speed on, so I just slid up
That's what I love about this aviation thing.
No one knows it all, and there is so much
results in the wing travelling a far greater distance than
the lead. This compensates for the extra energy of the
For some fun: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_figh ... g_scissors
Do recall the fundamental difference here ... in formation,
the lead is trying as best he can, to allow the wing to rejoin.
He does that by performing a gentle turn.
However, during air-to-air, the "lead" (defender) will violently
maneuver to stop the "wing" (attacker) from being able to
maneuver into position.
involve instrument flying. For example, you
might want the entry and exit altitudes to be
Similarly, a barrel roll can be difficult to visualize
and fly, without visual references.
My son flies straight and level, with the smoke
on, and I do barrel rolls around him. You can
see what the maneuver looks like, from both
inside and outside the cockpit.
Imagine there was a large tube, that my kid
was flying through the center of. And I am
driving around the inside of the tube, spiralling