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Old 04-28-2004, 10:37 AM   #1
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Flat Spins

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Years ago,I used to be able to flat spin. Now I can't. I realize that some planes won't flat spin,but I am not certain of the proper procedure to enter a flat spin.
What inputs are needed,and in what order.

And,yes I know flat spins are sometimes difficult to get out of above ground level.
Dave Smith
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Old 04-28-2004, 12:31 PM   #2
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You'll need a IMAC airplane to do a flat spin, HA. I knew I would get you to build one eventually. My Goldberg Extra 300 does a great flat spin. Pattern aircraft won't do them because of the long tail.

You'll need the c of g towards the rear of its range and you need a very reliable running engine. The control throws do not need to be increased.

Okay lets go: Enter a spin normally and then after a few revolutions slowly reverse the aileron input. You should see the tail come down, the spin rate increase and the descent of the aircraft slow. That's it.

To exit, neutralize everything and hang on. Usually after 2 or 3 revolutions the aircraft will exit into a spiral dive. This is the nerve wracking part because your waiting for it to come out of the spin. Ok what do you do if it doesn't? Kick full down elevator in and come up on the engine. This should get airflow going over the stab and will result in getting the nose down. If that doesn't work you can try reversing the rudder but I don't think it will help.

I've only had one aircraft that didn't come out of a flat spin and that was because the engine quit and I couldn't get prop blast over the tail. The interesting thing about a flat spin is because the aircraft's descent is slow when it hits the ground the damage is less then you think. When my aircraft hit the ground it went into some long grass and there was no damage.

Variations: Once you enter the flat spin come up on the throttle and watch it really wind up. I think this is how they do a climbing flat spin. Also can be done inverted.

I like to get really high up then enter a flat spin, come up on the throttle and get the old guys at the field to count the number of revolutions. Makes for great discussions later on at Tim Hortons.

I'll show you how it's done at the GAF

No guts no glory

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Old 04-28-2004, 03:14 PM   #3
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Flat Spins

A few years ago,I built a Bill Evans designed flying wing.Vader Down Under,he called it. It had no vertical fin,and in a climb when it ran out of power,it would whip into an inverted flat spin. Did this on me three times that I could not recover from. It just floated down very gently with no damage. A true flat spin will land like a feather,the trick being to land on a smooth area.
I cured this habit by adding a vertical fin. By the way,Evans claimed it could not be spun!
I have a Funky 40,that I can not flat spin,and wasn't sure if my memory was up to doing it correctly.

I also have a Magic Extra that I will try soon. I understand it flat spins well. We shall see.

Then it's time to fly real airplanes. Pattern,that is. :lol:
Dave Smith
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Old 05-11-2004, 08:37 PM   #4
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I have a different way to get in to a flat spin..it took me a while to figure out why it worked so well..see if you agree.What I do is enter a standard upright spin with elevator and rudder...NO AILERON AT ALL and power at idle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!After it has rotated several turns while holding those aformentioned inputs...you slowly( 3 seconds) feed in DOWN elevator. The tail sinks and the spin goes very flat and the rotation slows. The success of this technique depends on the aircraft, the CG and no doubt many other factors like area of flying surfaces. The best I ever did was with a Hobbico extra 300 ARF...it went tabletop flat and stayed in the spin untill you fought to get it out. I crashed that plane in a flat spin because I entered it without power and power was the only way out..before I crashed it the plane would fall straight down with exaust smoke pouring up past the leading and trailing edge of the wings....it was perfect!! ^The time it crashed I could see me wiggling all the surfaces in an attempt to get the nose down but it had 0 flow over the tail and no thrust so it pancaked infront of me destroying the wing structure...it was worth the crash to learn the secret!!

Now..why does down elevator make the tail sink? I think its because this surface throw stalls the horizontal stab and the tail plane does what any wing does when its stalled....it falls...also I think the down elevator helps blank out the stabilizing force of the virtical fin. I submit that the angle of attack of the horizontal stab in a normal spin might be between 30-70 degrees...when the elevator goes down that AOA increases to near 90 degrees as the tail plane falls vertically...the turbulent air pours straight up past the vertical fin reducing its effectiveness..of course , because of the sideways movement of the vertical fin due to yawing rotation, that vertically moving air has a sideways component to it..this is as far as I got in the theorizing..

I agree that once you enter my technique you can cross the ailerons and play with the power and see what happens. Be carefull when you try this...it has been the real deal on a couple of aerobatic planes and requires work to get it out.

The flat spins I see on videos are bogus, fake spins induced with power and held there with power..the plane is very much still flying with airflow created by huge thrust and a high rate of rotation on the outside wing..the tail is held down with huge amounts of thrust with an elevator that is 45-60 up in 3D throw. My Hobbico extra would fall striaght down rotating at about 180 degrees a second at idle power and all surfaces neutral...beat that!!!!! BTW the CG was normal and the plane flew normal...no special messing around with this bird. I hope someone will try this with their plane and let me know how they make out. If you have a plane that wont enter with my technique then it will flip over and knife edge spin.....some do and some dont..but the ones that do are really eyecatching. I have a new Hanger 9 Sukhoi with smoke and I will be trying this with it..might let you guys know what happens.If you have any thoughts please...lets hear them...even if you think I'm wrong :)

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Old 05-22-2004, 09:54 PM   #5
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The nicest flat spin I ever did was with my Astro Hog. Once entered, it was spinning ever so slowly, and descending very slowly. Trouble was no matter what I did, it wouldnt get out of the spin, and eventually hit the ground. It didnt doo too much damage though due to the low rate of descent.

In Dave Patricks' book "aerobatics made easy" it really describes well how to do the flat spin, and set your plane up to do it.
Andrew Coholic -MAAC #26287L

1/2A to giant scale, IMAC, SAM, R/C sport, turbine jets, Heli's...
if its got a wing or two and an engine - I like it!
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