RC Airplane World - Complete Beginners RC Flying Guide

Further RC Airplane Aerobatics

Here are some more rc airplane aerobatics that you might like to try your hand at, if you've had success with the loop, roll and stall turn shown on the basic rc plane aerobatics page.

The three aerobatic maneuvers shown on this page are the Immelmann Turn, Split-S and spin. Out of the three, the spin is the most risky because it requires the most altitude to recover from; the Immelmann turn and Split-S are fairly basic maneuvers that don't require much airspace.

These 3 rc airplane aerobatics are best performed with planes with aileron control; although rudder alone will get you through the maneuvers, ailerons tidy things up a lot.

The Immelmann Turn:

Named after the German WWI fighter ace Max Immelmann, this aerobatic maneuver is a modified and simplified version of his attack maneuver that he used during dogfights, to reposition his plane onto the tail of his enemy.

Immelman turn rc airplane aerobatic maneuver

How to fly it: Commence the maneuver as if performing a standard inside loop i.e. enter the maneuver from straight and level flight at point A in the picture above, with full power. Let the airplane complete its vertical climb and roll over onto its back, then at point C use aileron to roll through 180 degrees.

Level the airplane out once it has rolled over, and exit the maneuver on a straight and level course, higher than and in the opposite direction to your initial entry course.

Below is the Immelmann Turn on video (on the RealFlight G4 rc flight simulator), including close-ups of the Tx stick inputs and the airplane's response...

The Split-S:

The Split-S is essentially an inverted Immelmann turn, if you like.

Split-S rc airplane aerobatic maneuver

How to fly it: Starting with straight and level flight at a higher altitude, the airplane is rolled through 180 degrees at the start of the maneuver. Up elevator is applied as soon as the airplane is inverted, and the throttle reduced. The airplane then enters an 'inverted' dive and is flown towards the ground.

Keeping up elevator applied, the airplane is pulled out of the dive and returned to straight and level flight to exit the Split-S maneuver. No rolling out is necessary, as the airplane will already be the correct way up.

Below is the Split-S on video (on the RealFlight G4 rc flight simulator), including close-ups of the Tx stick inputs and the airplane's response...

The Spin:

The spin is a favourite rc airplane aerobatic maneuver and spins can go very well or disastrously wrong, depending on how much altitude you leave yourself to recover!

During a spin, the airplane flies vertically downwards while rotating about it's longitudinal axis (i.e. about its fuselage). To be technically correct, a spin should be performed with neutral ailerons and by applying full rudder only, but realistically many rc planes spin better when full aileron and full rudder is applied*.

Spin rc airplane aerobatic maneuver

How to fly it: Enter the maneuver in to wind, flying straight and level but at a slow speed and with plenty of altitude (point 'A' in the picture above). Slow your airplane further by reducing throttle completely and applying up elevator - not too much, but just enough to initiate a stall. Use ailerons to keep the wings level at this point.

The timing here is quite critical, you need to apply full rudder (*and full aileron, both in the same direction) just as the airplane stalls, point 'B' in the picture.

If you've got it right, the airplane will continue its stall while entering a spin. Keep both rudder and aileron fully deflected for as long as you want to hold the spin. Recovery is simply a case of returning rudder and aileron to neutral while applying up elevator and throttle to pull the airplane out of the dive (point 'C').

Below is the spin on video (on the RealFlight G4 rc flight simulator), including close-ups of the Tx stick inputs and the airplane's response...

So there you have some more rc airplane aerobatics to practice! If you have a rc flight simulator then you can practise in complete safety. Once you've honed those skills, take them to the flying field and have some fun!


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