FAQ for those new to Model Aerobatics
Aerobatics is the art of precision flying where pre-set patterns are drawn in the sky by the airplane. These pre-set patterns are called manoeuvres and they are put together to form a sequence or schedule. There are three levels of aerobatic model flying in Great Britain which correspond to the three classes flown: Standard, Senior and Master. Each manoeuvre is scored by a panel of judges to give an overall score for the flight.
Also people often interchange aerobatics and pattern when talking about aerobatics as aerobatics is about flying patterns in the sky.
The main difference is in the number and difficulty of manoeuvres flown. Standard is the entry level to aerobatics and aims to help develop the main elements that most manoeuvres contain such as loops, rolls, vertical flight, level flight and inverted flight. To move from Standard to Senior requires a score of 125 out of a possible 240 (i.e. 50%) at two separate competitions. In Senior, the manoeuvres build on the basics learnt in Standard by increasing the number of manoeuvres as well as the difficulty by combining more of the basics elements in to each manoeuvre as well as adding more difficult variations such as snap rolls. Promotion from Senior to Master requires a promotion score of 300 out of a possible 500 (i.e. 60%) at two separate competitions. There are three schedules ('D', 'E' and the 'UK2') that Master pilots can fly and they have more manoeuvres than the Senior schedule and again some increased difficulty within the manoeuvres. Although there is no promotion score to attain within Masters, there are the Silver and Gold awards which require scores of 65% and 70% respectively at two seperate competitions plus the top three flyers of the Masters schedule represent Great Britain at international competitions such as the World and European Championships.
Yes. If you can loop, roll and fly inverted you'll be able to fly the Standard or Sportsman schedule.
Not necessarily. If you have a model that can loop, roll and fly inverted then it will compete quite happily in Standard class and allow you to gain promotion to Senior. Once in Senior, people may decide to invest in a different model but it is not essential. A pilot may decide to build one main competition model rather than have two sports models. Also, instead of building a new model, second-hand aerobatic models are often available. Once into Masters people may want to invest more time and money as many do in other sports at the top level.
Email Stuart Mellor, our Membership Secretary, at firstname.lastname@example.org saying you're interested in aerobatics with your name and address and he will snail mail you back our "Introducing Aerobatics" booklet which gives even greater detail. If there is a GBRCAA member in your flying club then they would be happy to talk to you about flying aerobatics and about going to your first competition, even if you just want to watch.
If you are located outside the UK then also take a look at our World page for links to equivalent organisations in others countries.
Last updated 31st January 1998
Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998 GBRCAA