IN­TRO TO 3D FLY THE TORQUE ROLL

Mas­ter this chal­leng­ing aer­o­batic move

Model Airplane News - - FRONT PAGE - BY JOHN GLEZEL­LIS IL­LUS­TRA­TIONS BY FX MOD­ELS

A guar­an­teed crowd pleaser, the lowlevel torque roll has been done time and time again. But it still seems to defy logic; I mean, how can a plane do that? But planes can do this ma­neu­ver eas­ily if they are set up cor­rectly, and with a lit­tle prac­tice, any­one can learn to fly it. Ide­ally, the per­fect planes for learn­ing the torque roll are small, in­ex­pen­sive, and easy-re­pair foamies. You can also fly these planes closer to your­self (an im­por­tant el­e­ment— more on this later), and they have great power-to-weight ra­tios. Once you get the ba­sics worked out, you can then fly larger, more in­volved glow- or gas-pow­ered air­planes. It’s up to you. Let’s see what we need to do to learn this im­pres­sive ma­neu­ver.

PREPA­RA­TION

You will want a light plane that has a good power setup—enough to pull out of a hover—and a mo­tor that can swing a large-di­am­e­ter, low­pitch prop. The plane will have to have good-size con­trol sur­faces that can ac­com­mo­date 40 or more de­grees of throw. To make the torque roll a lit­tle eas­ier to con­trol, use dual rates so that you can switch the high rates on dur­ing the torque roll and off for nor­mal flight. Ex­po­nen­tial pro­gram­ming will also help make the high rates a lit­tle eas­ier to con­trol. Bal­anc­ing your plane slightly tail-heavy will help keep it in the torque roll. When the plane has been prop­erly set up, you’ll be ready to go.

THE EN­TRY IS KEY

The key to do­ing a good torque roll is to make a good en­try into the ma­neu­ver. It doesn’t mat­ter whether you en­ter the torque roll up­wind or down, but it will be dif­fi­cult to learn the ma­neu­ver when the winds are stronger than, say, 5mph. Start your first few torque rolls with the plane as close to you as pos­si­ble while still leav­ing enough room for your safety zone. The plane needs to be close so that any small head­ing shifts can be eas­ily seen and cor­rected for (Fig­ure 1). Al­ways start your hover ma­neu­ver so that the plane will drift away from you. Once in a torque roll, the plane will drift in whichever di­rec­tion the wind is blow­ing, and if that pushes the plane to­ward you, it could shake you up.

Noth­ing is as ex­cit­ing as a gi­ant-scale aer­o­bat per­form­ing a low-level torque roll. Add some smoke and wow!

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