Photos and text by Ken Kula
It’s the beginning of air show season again in the Northern Hemisphere, while it’s just wrapping up in the Southern side. There are a surprisingly large group of pilots and their aircraft which perform for spectators during events. Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes, and many hours of practice go into a successful performance.
Besides time practicing for entertainment, aerobatic training teaches pilots how to control unplanned and unnatural situations they might encounter while in the cockpit. Flight safety is the main goal of this training.
While I’m not a pilot myself, I’ve heard others talk about the mental discipline and personal accomplishment one feels when a plan becomes a reality. Following an Aresti notation (a pilot’s diagram of the maneuver’s that they’ll fly) to “the T” is a big accomplishment by itself.
Each aerobatic airplane has its own unique capabilities that airframe and powerplant provide. Here are a series of photos of civilian aircraft capable of performing aerobatics… some can accomplish benign maneuvers, while others can fly to the extreme.
You can hover over the photos for an aircraft type, of click to open a larger photo.