New here and have a few question regarding Tbird maneuvers

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ggerman
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New here and have a few question regarding Tbird maneuvers

Post by ggerman » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:23 am

Hello everyone, my name is Greg. I'm new to the forum here and I'm a "Thunderbird-aholic!" (Crowd quietly says, "hello, Greg!").

I first want to say how truly impressive your displays are. I've seen countless TB shows in real life all over the country and you guys put on a virtual show that is every bit as exciting, tightly choreographed, and brilliantly executed! I have especially enjoyed you "Smoke On" video, as well as your VFAT performances! BRAVO! You guys rock!

I do have a couple of questions I'm hoping someone will be kind enough to enlighten me on... and please forgive me if some of them are painfully "noobish" questions. I'm trying to put some spit 'n polish on my formation flying skills (in the sim, of course... but I am a private pilot and plane-owner in real life) in hopes that I might hone my skills to a point where I can tryout for the team without completely embarassing myself!

I'll also readily admit that I tried searching the forums for the answers, but was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of returns I got from my keyword query! :shock: so I decided to take the lazy approach and ask my questions here. :wink:

Anyway, here goes...

After listening to the show recordings and watching the "Reach for the Sky" DVD, I was wondering if you could tell me what the Boss means -just before they start a climbing maneuver - when he says "Riiiiiggghhhttt onnnn innnn toooo fourrrr.... there's four!" I am assuming that they are starting the climb somewhat shallow at 450kt CAS and bleeding off speed until 400kt and then starting the pull into the loop? Is that correct?

Is 450kt the usual starting speed for those types of maneuvers?

Also, what is the typical starting altitude that the diamond begins most of the manuevers?

Lastly, I know that nowadays with the newer Block 52 models, the show opens with the diamond loop takeoff, however I was wondering about the take-offs in the pre-Block 52 days... What was the intial climb altitude after takeoff and in the circling turn just before the clover loop?

That's all I'll throw at you for the time being. I don't want to wear out my welcome in my first post! :)

Any enlightenment from the the experts would be sincerely and gratefully appreciated!

Thanks in advance!

Greg G.
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Blaze
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Post by Blaze » Sat Jan 23, 2010 5:46 am

Hey Greg, welcome to the VTB forums! :D
ggerman wrote:After listening to the show recordings and watching the "Reach for the Sky" DVD, I was wondering if you could tell me what the Boss means -just before they start a climbing maneuver - when he says "Riiiiiggghhhttt onnnn innnn toooo fourrrr.... there's four!" I am assuming that they are starting the climb somewhat shallow at 450kt CAS and bleeding off speed until 400kt and then starting the pull into the loop? Is that correct?

Is 450kt the usual starting speed for those types of maneuvers?
First of all, excellent DVD, I watch it all the time! When Boss calls "Right on in to four, there's four!", he's calling out the amount of G's he's setting for the loop. They shoot for 4 G's, and the boss can't just instantly go right to that amount, so he uses smooth, firm backpressure which starts the nose coming up, while trying to hit his target G in around 7 seconds, with "There's 4!" meaning he's reached and set the target G.
ggerman wrote:Also, what is the typical starting altitude that the diamond begins most of the manuevers?
Starting altitude for most maneuvers is ~300ft AGL.
ggerman wrote:Lastly, I know that nowadays with the newer Block 52 models, the show opens with the diamond loop takeoff, however I was wondering about the take-offs in the pre-Block 52 days... What was the intial climb altitude after takeoff and in the circling turn just before the clover loop?
For the old diamond takeoff, Boss used to climb out with a gradual pull to a maximum of 35 degrees of pitch attitude or 170 knots, whichever came first. Then he'd turn out and take the diamond behind the crowdline, cut the burners as the nose hit's the horizon, enter the setup phase, and get turned around for the opener.

Hope I covered everything, and I'm sure Lawndart will correct and/or add anything I may have missed or got wrong. :)
Design is all about finding solutions within constraints.
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Post by Lawndart » Sat Jan 23, 2010 6:34 am

Welcome to the forums Greg! Not much to add, except:
Blaze wrote:Hope I covered everything, and I'm sure Lawndart will correct and/or add anything I may have missed or got wrong. :)
Since you asked for it, here goes:
Blaze wrote:They shoot for 4 G's, and the boss can't just instantly go right to that amount, so he uses smooth, firm backpressure which starts the nose coming up, while trying to hit his target G in around 7 seconds, with "There's 4!" meaning he's reached and set the target G.
The ideal pull is a 4G onset in five seconds.
Blaze wrote:For the old diamond takeoff, Boss used to climb out with a gradual pull to a maximum of 35 degrees of pitch attitude or 170 knots, whichever came first. Then he'd turn out and take the diamond behind the crowdline, cut the burners as the nose hit's the horizon, enter the setup phase, and get turned around for the opener.
A maximum of 45 degrees pitch attitude or approaching 220 knots, whichever occurs first, the Leader eases off the back pressure to a 0.8G float to preserve the target speed of 220 knots and begins a turn in the appropriate direction. (Blaze, sounds like you've been reading our "derived" parameters handbook. Did Burner forget to mention which numbers were real and which ones were ours for Lock On? :wink: ).
ggerman wrote:Is 450kt the usual starting speed for those types of maneuvers?
Almost all the Thunderbird maneuvers are flown around 400+ KCAS. BUPs/TUPs just below ~400, Rolls ~415, Loops ~430, and Solo passes 450 KGND. There are obvious exceptions, but those targets cover the vast majority of Thunderbird maneuvers.
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Post by ggerman » Sat Jan 23, 2010 10:09 am

Wow... thanks so much Blaze and LD!

I didn't realize that he was calling out G's rather than speed for the loops!

I guess what threw me off was that just before the start of the maneuvers, he calls out the speed and it was usually in the 400's... so naturally, I assumed that with the bleed off that would occur during the nose-up pull that they were shooting for a target of 400kt for the start of the loop... hence the "there's four!" call.

I guess there's a whole other world of flying out there than what I'm used to in my low and slow SR22! LOL!

I truly appreciate the answers guys!

- Greg

I hope you won't mind if I pop in from time to time with some little questions here and there!
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Post by Ray » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:12 pm

Hey Greg, welcome to the forums! Looks like they answered your questions. Blaze and LD are both very good at addressing questions that have a lot of detail in them!

That's awesome, where do you keep the Cirrus? My dad has a Super Cub - we did a formation photo flight a while back with a friend in his SR-22, that is an awesome ride!

After the photos, we were blistering along in the Cub at about 100 MPH and then he just left us like he lit the burner. :lol:
ggerman
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Post by ggerman » Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:18 pm

I do have just one more question for now...

When the solo pilots finish their passes, they do a pitchup and then a 270 degree roll before calling "out"...

Based on what you told me earlier about the G load at the start of a loop, does this mean that the solo pilots also do a G-based pitch before their 270 degree roll? If so, what is the G number they are targeting in the pitch up?

Also, are they leveling at a specific altitude before calling out, or do they just roll out at what ever altitude they are at once they've established their pitch?

Again, I would be most appreciative of any info you are kind enough to share!

Thanks a bunch!

Greg
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Post by ggerman » Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:49 am

Ray wrote:Hey Greg, welcome to the forums! Looks like they answered your questions. Blaze and LD are both very good at addressing questions that have a lot of detail in them!

That's awesome, where do you keep the Cirrus? My dad has a Super Cub - we did a formation photo flight a while back with a friend in his SR-22, that is an awesome ride!

After the photos, we were blistering along in the Cub at about 100 MPH and then he just left us like he lit the burner, :lol:
Hi Ray!

Thanks for the kind welcome!

I live in the Washington DC area (Alexandria, VA, actually) but the plane is hangared down in Stafford VA - about 45 minutes away. It's kind of a pain to drive down there when I wanna fly, but it's cheaper than keeping it in the DC area - and less hassle with the FRZ around DC! I love F-16s, but I really don't want one pulling up beside me - ready to blast an AIM-9 in my rear! LOL!

We have a 2009 Turbo X-edition and we absolutely love it!

Greg
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Post by Lawndart » Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:12 am

ggerman wrote:When the solo pilots finish their passes, they do a pitchup and then a 270 degree roll before calling "out"...

Based on what you told me earlier about the G load at the start of a loop, does this mean that the solo pilots also do a G-based pitch before their 270 degree roll? If so, what is the G number they are targeting in the pitch up?

Also, are they leveling at a specific altitude before calling out, or do they just roll out at what ever altitude they are at once they've established their pitch?
What you're referring to is called a Flip Turn, and is basically a wings-level pull (approx 7Gs) to 22.5 degrees nose high (FPM) with a smooth unload. The Solo then executes a crisp 270-degree roll away from the crowd line. At 270 degrees of roll, the smoke is turned off and the Solo exits the line with a smooth, level to slightly climbing turn behind the crowd line. The altitude gained with the precribed entry airspeed and G-loading is about 1,000 feet.

When No. 5 or 6 completes the Flip Turn following a maneuver they'll call:
"5/6 Clear".
ggerman
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Post by ggerman » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:16 am

Lawndart wrote:
ggerman wrote:When the solo pilots finish their passes, they do a pitchup and then a 270 degree roll before calling "out"...

Based on what you told me earlier about the G load at the start of a loop, does this mean that the solo pilots also do a G-based pitch before their 270 degree roll? If so, what is the G number they are targeting in the pitch up?

Also, are they leveling at a specific altitude before calling out, or do they just roll out at what ever altitude they are at once they've established their pitch?
What you're referring to is called a Flip Turn, and is basically a wings-level pull (approx 7Gs) to 22.5 degrees nose high (FPM) with a smooth unload. The Solo then executes a crisp 270-degree roll away from the crowd line. At 270 degrees of roll, the smoke is turned off and the Solo exits the line with a smooth, level to slightly climbing turn behind the crowd line. The altitude gained with the precribed entry airspeed and G-loading is about 1,000 feet.

When No. 5 or 6 completes the Flip Turn following a maneuver they'll call:
"5/6 Clear".
Thanks LD... didn't know the maneuver had a name! From watching them execute the pull, I'd never would have guessed it was 7Gs... it looks like such a shallow climb!

I appreciate your taking the time to answer!

Thanks so much!

-Greg
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Post by Beaker » Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:55 am

When you're going that fast (450 ground) and pull to that pitch angle quickly, you're going to get a solid G onset. (Getting rate from the nose at high airspeed = high G).
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Post by Lawndart » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:48 am

Beaker is right! It's an instantaneous 7Gs, not a sustained 7Gs. 8)

Secondly, the G is not used as a primary reference in this case, but for controlling how quickly the nose is pulled up to 22.5 degrees (which is the primary target parameter in this case). Not quite 7Gs and the onset was too slow. More than 7Gs and the onset was too fast.
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Post by ggerman » Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:26 am

Lawndart wrote:Beaker is right! It's an instantaneous 7Gs, not a sustained 7Gs. 8)

Secondly, the G is not used as a primary reference in this case, but for controlling how quickly the nose is pulled up to 22.5 degrees (which is the primary target parameter in this case). Not quite 7Gs and the onset was too slow. More than 7Gs and the onset was too fast.
Gotcha... thanks for the clarification! :wink:

This type of flying is so hugely different from what I do in the real world, so I apologize if I'm asking very "elementary" questions!

Thanks to everyone for their insight!

- Greg
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