Basic aeronautical info

Hi all.

Just wondering how many actual pilots we have. I noticed some folks are experiencing performance problems (tip stalls, spins etc). I remember an article by the AMA (years ago) about applying real piloting skills to r/c (coordinated turns, air speed management, flap/trim configuration). Just thought this  might be a good thread for newer pilots to glean some basic aeronautical info.


For instance, how many people actually make coordinated turns?


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  • The autopilot is a great (super cool!) flight management tool, but from what I've gathered so far, we still have to be PIC (Pilot in command) during takeoff/landings. There are some folks out there designing code for these specific flight environments, and during these unique situations (IMHO) we all could benefit from some basic aeronautical knowledge. I use coordinated turns only as an example of flight basics that someone may want to look at while writing code.

    Good to see there are other pilots crazy enough to "take the reins" of their own aircraft.
  • Tip-stalls and spins caused by many factors but speaking in term of the small balsa/foamie airplanes people use here for "uav" then it would probably has more to do with bad design, bad configuration, and of course lack of piloting skill.

    Yes I make coordinate turns using rudder with aileron all the time, and on many UAV's this is mixed in the autopilot.

    Speed management is done with pitch attitude, and altitude consistency is done with throttle.

    Aircrafts/UAVs are always trim to fly hand-off at given throttle setting and speed so that if you want to climb, you simply increase throttle slightly - same goes if you want decend, just reduce the throttle a bit.

    You will find that when moving to larger/heavier airplanes, UAV's especially when they're flying around at nearly maximum take off weight on the edge with .9 CL, precise management of all flight function is very can't simply yanking and banking the airplanes around like an over-powered RC toys.
  • As a pilot and EAA'er I have observed and questioned many of the same things...

    A coordinated turn is very easy, the ‘ball and needle’ is the key, well actually the ball is the critical component, the needle provides the rate-of-turn. A simple inclinometer (Analog and ST have app-notes) would provide the necessary measurements… wing levelers use a gyro to measure the rotation about the long axis. The ball simply measures the effective lateral g-force(across the wings), for a coordinated turn the pilot(auto or biological) will use the rudder to keep the ball centered.

    IMHO I did not really learn to fly until I learned aerobatics ;) it is too bad that spin recovery is not part of the PTS anymore, until you get to your commercial ticket.

    Making an autopilot pass all or part of the PTS would be a really cool test, as a matter of fact, that is what I am planning for my new plane. I think the hardest part of the PTS will be is testing the autopilot for “partial panel” situations.

    I am in the process of building my first R/C airframe and autopilot, so I may be speaking out of turn. Although I have contributed to the building and fitting out of a few airplanes, and assisted with warbird restorations. I have also flown all of them as PIC… I may be over simplifying the UAV autopilot problem, because in a full-size airframe we had the luxury of minimal impact on weight and balance as well as having the luxury of integrating with existing instrumentation using ARINC/NEMA interfaces when we developed an INS/MFD system a few years ago.

    my 2c, Dane
  • Moderator
    I do but not at work, string is the primary instrument for said turns.

    We had this conversation a couple of years ago here ;-)

    Actually correct flying improves fuel consumption and stuff.

    Every good landing starts with a good approach.

    Shall I stop now.
  • 3D Robotics
    This is why we design autopilots, so we don't have to learn that stuff ourselves ;-)

    I tried a coordinated turn one time, decided it didn't make enough difference to be worth the bother, and never did it again. It helps not to have passengers aboard complaining about dips and lurches...
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