Stunt Pattern for Beginner/Novice Class 


Judges commentary

A correct takeoff consists of the model rolling smoothly along the ground for a distance of not less than 14.8 feet, but not greater than one quarter of a lap. The model then rises smoothly into the air with a gradual climb and a smooth leveloff to normal flight level over the point at which the model commenced its ground roll. The model continues on for two (2) smooth laps of normal level flight to point of original leveloff

The usual error is simply too quick a climb. Climbing to five (5) feet over the lap requires very careful attention. The climb rate is the essence of the maneuver. A slow and smooth climb rate to five (5) feet with good level flight merits a 38–40 since there is little else that can be done. Conversely, when the ship jumps off the ground, there is little left worthy of merit and the score should reflect this, i.e., a score in the 20s. Second, the two (2) level laps after the takeoff should have constant altitude. In windy weather, expect the plane to climb going into the wind, and lose altitude going downwind should the pilot get careless.

Correct reverse wingovers are judged when the model starts from normal flight level, makes a vertical climb and dive, passing directly over the flier’s head, cutting the ground circle in half, and recovers at normal flight level. All turns to and from normal level flights shall be of approximately 4.9 feet radius.

The most difficult part of the maneuver is keeping the flight path in a straight line and going through the top of the circle.

Incidentally, the only good view of this maneuver is directly upwind. Consequently, if there are five (5) judges spread along the upwind side, several judges will get a decidedly poor view of the most difficult aspects of the maneuver and be hard pressed to evaluate the preceding. Judges may have to bunch closer together to get an adequate view of this maneuver.

Correct loops are judged when the model starts from normal flight level and makes a series of three (3) smooth, round loops, all in the same place with the bottoms of the loops at normal flight level and the tops of the loops with the line(s) at 45 degrees elevation.

The key here is roundness. Making the loop round is very difficult since it requires a continuously changing control input. Typically, loops tend to be flatter on the bottom and wider than they are high as pilots try to keep the bottoms at five (5) feet. A premium should be awarded for roundness when scoring since this is the most difficult aspect of the maneuver. The second thing to watch for is that the three (3) loops are the same size. The natural tendency is for each successive loop to get larger rather than smaller so be ready to spot the growth. The third problem typical to the inside rounds is that they have a tendency to walk to the left or right.

Correct loops are judged when the model starts from 45 degrees elevation and makes a series of three (3) smooth, round loops, all in the same place, with the bottoms of the loops at normal flight level and the tops of the loops with the lines at 45 degrees elevation. The model then continues for another half loop, recovering at normal flight level.

The comments regarding inside loops apply equally to outside loops. A typical error is for the first loop being egg-shaped to the right. In order for the first loop to be round, the starting input must be quick, yet light, which makes it difficult to execute. Because of the difficulty to correct entry on this maneuver, be ready to catch a mistake at the very beginning.

Consecutive inside square loops are judged correct when the model starts from normal flight level and flies a square course consisting of two (2) loops, each with four (4) inside turns of approximately 4.9 feet radius and straight sized segments with bottom segments at normal flight level and top segments as inverted level flight at 45 degrees elevation. The two (2) bottom corners are equal and so are the two (2) top corners. The maneuver begins and ends with the model in level flight at the point of start of the first turn.

Shape and size is, as in all maneuvers, the main criteria. Almost always, the classic error is long to the right rather than too tall. Most pilots get the first angle correctly, but tend to miss the next two. Descending across the top is the most common mistake, followed by angling out on the vertical leg going down. The bottom right corner tends to be softer than the other three due to the increased airspeed of the plane; so be ready to notice this also. As in the round loops an almost universal tendency is for the second loop to be larger than the first so be on the alert for this. Squares are particularly hard to fly to the rule book 45 degree, size, so opening these maneuvers is very common. The conscientious judge should be quick to penalize the flier for flying large squares as the maneuver loses most of its difficulty when flown this way.

Horizontal eights are to be entered and completed at the intersection point of the circles and exit at the same point. The inside loop must be flown first. Correct eights are judged when the model makes two (2) eights, each consisting of two (2) round circles or loops of the same size, tangent to each other, and in a horizontal line. The model must enter the eight from normal flights level and be vertical at the intersection point of tangency of the circles. The eights must be symmetrical. At the top of each circle the model must be at the 45 degrees elevation point; the bottoms of circles must be at normal flight level.

The most common error is overlapping of the intersection, especially on the last outside loop at the end of the maneuver. The result of this is for the maneuver to end up to the right of where it started. The wind tends to make the inside loop move to the left and the outside loop move to the right which accounts for the usual overlapping. The second most common problem is usually a lack of roundness, particularly through the intersection. The transition between insides and outsides must be done very quickly to eliminate flat spots, “X”d, or “S”d intersections. The airplane should momentarily be in a vertical position to prevent the loops from being taller than the width. If a judge is overly concerned with the intersection, it is possible to overlook poor shape. Also, if the loops are round, the intersection will be properly placed as a natural consequence. Getting the bottoms at five (5) feet is important, but should definitely be considered secondary to the shape since good shape is difficult on this maneuver.

Overhead eights are to be entered and completed at the intersection point of the circles, directly over the flier’s head, and exit from the same point. The inside loop must be flown first. Correct overhead eights are judged when the model makes two (2) eights, each consisting of two (2) round circles of the same size, with the intersection or point of tangency directly over the flier’s head. The model must enter the eights with a vertical climb through the center of the circle, and must always point in this direction at the center of the eights. The eights must be symmetrical and the model at the lowest point of each circle must be at a point of 45 degrees elevation.

No shape can be seen from the judge’s viewpoint. The judgment on the quality of the maneuver must be based solely on angles and the attitude of the plane through the intersection. Look for:

1. Whether or not the lines are perpendicular to the ground at the start of the maneuver.

2. How close the lines are to the 45 degree elevation point as the first inside loop is half completed. The same holds true for the outside loop. Watch for overheads that droop to the left or right, a frequent error on this maneuver. As the ship comes around to the starting point, the first item of importance is whether or not the lines are 90 degrees to the ground. Second, does the plane face exactly away from the judge as it completes the first loop and enters the second (outside) loop. Frequently the pilot “X”s or “S”s the intersection which results in the plane never facing directly away from the judge. Watch for jerky corrections which indicate lack of roundness, even though precise shape cannot be seen.

3. Watch closely that the airplane overlaps the intersection since it is very common for this intersection to be missed.

4. Is the maneuver being flown directly overhead? Frequently the overhead eights are flown in front of the pilot. Since no shape can be seen from the judge’s viewpoint, it is most important to note the attitude of the ship through the intersection. The second eight is a repeat of the first as far as checking for errors is concerned with the exception of the exit. The direction of the exit is another means of checking the accuracy of the shape without actually being able to see from the inside. If the heading is different from that of the entry, then clearly some mistake has been made. The recovery from the exit point to level flight is not scored. As in the wingover, only those judges positioned exactly upwind from the point of entry are in an adequate position to make a good judgment as to the accuracy of this maneuver and for this reason, it would be beneficial for them to bunch up when observing the overhead eights.

A correct landing is judged when the model descends smoothly to land with no bounce or unusual roughness, and without any part of the model other than the landing gear having touched the ground. Main wheel(s) or three-point landings are permissible. The duration of the flight ends when the model rolls to a stop.

The maneuver is not merely the touchdown, but the entire approach. It is at least equally difficult to make the approach a controlled, constantly descending flight path as it is to make a “no bounce” landing. In other words, judge the approach as well as the touchdown and nothing else.

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