Wednesday, November 15, 2000 by
Copyright:© 2000 Horizon Hobby, Inc.
Ok, Snaps don't qualify as "3D", but let's briefly discuss some techniques that I think you'll find helpful. When you fly aerobatics with a larger model like the Extra 330L, you'll find that it'll do everything just like your smaller model—only better and easier. There are just a couple of exceptions to how you do things. One is throttle management- it's a must. Just like full-scale planes, you have to throttle back to idle when the nose is pointed down. Another is snap rolling.
Larger aerobatic airplanes need to be snapped like a full scale, too. Don't feel bad if this seems like a big "What are you talking about?" to you. It took me quite a while to figure this out. Let's back up to how we all learned to do a snap roll. If it's an inside (positive) snap, we pull the sticks into the corner, i.e. full up, full aileron, and full rudder in the same direction as aileron. When we want to stop snapping, we release the controls. For smaller models, this technique not only works, but is normally the only way to get the plane to snap. In a full-scale aerobatic plane, as well as with large models, snaps are different- particularly on the new breed of aerobatic birds like the Extra 330L, which have large control surfaces.
For these planes, the trick is to "unload the snaps."How do you do that? Well, you start a snap roll the same as you would with a smaller model. Pull full up, full rudder, and aileron in the same direction. But as soon as the sticks reach the corners, neutralize the elevator while keeping the rudder and ailerons at full deflection. When you do this correctly, the Extra will not get "deep" into snaps. This allows it to keep more airspeed as it exits the snap, so it stops snapping where you what it to and flies out with more air speed. You'll also find that it will be a lot easier to exit a snap heading the same direction you were when you entered it. It'll take a little practice to get the hang of "flying" the snaps, but I'll bet you'll see a big improvement in the quality of your flying.