Kind of a family thing....

Aerobatic competition is flown in an "aerobatic box", 3,300 feet square, 3,500 feet high, with a base ranging form 328 feet to 1,500 feet depending on the category. There are five categories in aerobatics -- Basic, Sportsman, Intermediate, Advanced, and Unlimited. These categories are not defined by type of aircraft, but by the complexity of the figures and sequences flown. However, you would need a pretty hot mount to get through the higher levels.
The basic figures are the roll, loop, spin, hammerhead, and the snap roll. They are combined to form more complex figures like the immelman, which is half-loop with a half-roll on top. These figures are choreographed into what is called an aerobatic sequence.

In a contest, all pilots fly a KNOWN sequence, given out by the International Aerobatic Club before the season begins. From Sportsman on up, pilots will also fly a FREESTYLE, which is a sequence of their own design. From Intermediate on, an UNKNOWN, a sequence handed out at the contest, and presumably never seen by the pilots, will be flown. The Unlimited pilots also have the option in competing in a FIVE MINUTE FREESTYLE.


MUSING ON AEROBATICS: Highs and lows of the sport.

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