If you are like most modelers, you have heard about "3D" flying, probably saw it, and might have even tried a few things. But the whole idea may still be a little unclear.....So what makes a plane fly 3D, what are the maneuvers, how do you do them.... Well read on, and we'll try to get you up to speed! The following is a compilation of several "How To 3D" Articles originally posted by Horizon Hobby and http://www.international3d.org/
What does 3D mean?
The simplest way to explain it is any maneuver done while the wing is fully stalled.... It can be a tumble, a hover, a decent with the nose at 45 deg.. or almost anything else where the wing is not creating lift for flight, rather the engine thrust and flight control surfaces are doing the most work.
What makes a plane 3D capable?
All the 3D maneuvers are mixed up with conventional aerobatics to make a breathtaking routine.... But unlike other types of flying, a specific plane is needed. To fly 3D, you have to have a plane that's has lots of pitch and yaw control. Elevators taking up 50%-60% of horizontal stabilizer's surface is a must. They need to be able to travel to 45 deg in either way. The same is true for the Rudder. Ailerons should also be large, but will require less throw than the rudder and elevator.
Hangar 9 makes the CAP 232.... For larger planes, it is a great choice for 3D flight. Our little planes do all the maneuvers shown, and just as well as the big planes. Most people practice the tricks with the little guy, and then when it is mastered, feel comfortable moving up to the BIG plane for airshows.
You will hear people talking about High Alpha.... it is simply a fancy name
for flight at high angles of attack. It means that the wing is not producing
enough lift to fly. In HA flight, the engines thrust, combined with the elevator
or rudders deflection provides the plane with control and altitude. It is very
much like a boat in water.... air is not flowing over the wing, but rather
against the bottom of it. just like sticking your hand out the window of a car
and rotating your palm back and forth. The same is applied to the fuselage
side.... it too can keep you "suspended" in air when combined with enough thrust
and rudder deflection. To be good at 3D a plane must be able to make a clean
transition to HA flight from conventional flight.... with out snapping. The key
to this is large control surfaces.
There are 5 basic 3D maneuvers that will give you the basics for all your advanced stuff.
All it takes is some practice and you can be flying them!
What it is:
The plane will descend with the nose around 45 deg. On windy days it can be straight down! Throttle is your best friend on this one... it controls the decent rate.
3D-elevator mode is essential (45 deg. throw), and your CG will have to be on the mark or slightly aft. If your CG is further aft and the airplane teeters back and forth, program about 1/2" of up aileron with up elevator travel.
How to do it:
At near stall airspeed, up high, slowly feed in up elevator until you have the full 3D rate up in it. With low throttle, the CAP will fall like a rock. To guide it around, use the rudder, not ailerons. Just keep the wings level. Add power to change the plane's altitude.
Aside from steering it with the rudder, you'll quickly see that this maneuver is a matter of juggling the throttle and rudder to get the plane to go where you want it to go.
Recovery: Basic- Add full power, flip off the 3D-rate elevator and fly out.
Take the elevator all the way to the ground, adding slight power before it touches down to slow the descent and transition into a "Harrier" and land. Or, for a little more drama, add power to get the nose to rise to vertical and transition into a Torque Roll. ("Elevator" from a hundred feet down to 20 feet then power up into a torque roll. Oh yeah!!)
Worst way to mess up:
Let your direction control (rudder) get away from you after starting too low- you could snap it right into the ground (ouch!).
What it is:
Very slow forward flight in a very nose high (about 45บ) attitude.
The same as the elevator, and the raised ailerons help in this maneuver even more.
How to do it:
Start by entering an "Elevator". Let the model drop a little, then slowly add power until the vertical descent stops and it begins to fly forward with the nose very high- holding full up elevator (on 3D rate) all the while. Juggle the power to control the plane's attitude and forward speed. In a head wind, you may also have to juggle the elevator to keep the plane from rotating up to a vertical attitude. Use the rudder to steer the plane around in the Harrier attitude. Try to use the ailerons very little, as they will cause the plane to wobble side to side.
Keeping up with the plane if it begins to wobble.
Simply add full power and reduce elevator to transition into normal forward flight. Advanced- after you get the hang of flying around in the Harrier, juggle the throttle to slowly lose altitude and do a Harrier landing. The plane will land on the rear of the rudder first, then add a little power so it doesn't smack the landing gear too hard.
What it is:
A continuous tail-over-nose descending flip. It's not a loop, but the aircraft actually flops around its canopy.
Once again, the critical component is having the 3D-elevator travel 45-60 deg. of down elevator. An aft CG helps this the most.
How to do it:
Start relatively high. At low throttle, gradually pull the nose up until it's near vertical. Just before it stalls, add full down and full power at the same time. You have to continuously "fly" the rudder and ailerons to keep the plane flipping over in a straight line. To do consecutive Waterfalls, continue to hold full down and "fly" rudder and ailerons, and chop the throttle as the nose comes back up to vertical, then add full power as it flips straight down.
Trickiest part: No doubt here- flying the rudder and aileron correctly. You really have to "fly" them and make constant corrections. The amount of rudder you add will vary. If you don't do this, the plane will fall off into a knife edge spin.
Just neutralize the elevator and the CAP will quit flipping, but expect some over-rotation, so practice high until you get the feel for it. Fly out straight and level, or stop the rotation while pointed vertical and go into a torque roll.
Worst way to mess up:
Take it down too low, over-control your elevator on recovery and snap into the ground. To avoid this, simply change rates on your elevator to normal travel.
What it is:
The Blender, or Panic maneuver is a vertical diving roll that virtually stops its descent as it instantaneously enters into a flat spin.
3D set-up as described in the manual. Most likely you'll have 60-75% expo with these settings. The CG should be on the mark or aft 1/2". Make sure your wing is strong-this can be an extremely violent, but always exciting maneuver.
How to do it:
Start from about 400-500 feet straight and level, chop throttle and push the nose straight down. As soon as the plane is diving straight down at low throttle, add full left aileron. Let it complete 2 or 3 rolls, then quickly transition the sticks to an inverted snap roll position (left aileron, right rudder, down elevator) all at the same time. If you do it right, the airplane will instantly transition from a left roll to a flat spin in the same direction, and the descent will all but stop. Add full throttle just after the spin goes flat making the rotation speed high and helping stop the vertical descent.
Simply release rudder and aileron, and hold just a little down elevator. The plane will stop rotating and begin to fly out. As it gains airspeed, roll back to upright. Remember you're in "3D mode," so don't do anything abrupt or you can stall the airplane.
The Torque Roll
What it is:
Plane "hovers" vertically in place, rotating left around its roll axis.
Full 3D throws in elevator and rudder are a must. An aft CG helps a little also. Some flyers will run their CG back to make this maneuver easier without gyros. But gyros provide the best aid to stabilize the aircraft- they won't do the maneuver for you, but they'll help. The pros will also tell you to add 3/4 degree of upthrust to your engine. This helps keep your plane from falling forward in the Torque Roll, and it'll fly straighter uplines in non-3D maneuvers, too.
With a little aft CG, gyros and upthrust, you'll find your plane will be set-up best so you can concentrate on attitude recognition. Naturally, you'll need lots of power for this one: Generally 2 to 1 thrust/weight ratio. That will let you immediately pull out of a bad spot.
How to do it:
Fly low along the ground at low throttle, and gently add power with up elevator to bring the plane into a vertical position. Some flyers add a little left aileron to get the roll motion started. Add throttle to keep the nose pointed up and make corrections with rudder and elevator to keep things straight.
Recognizing your correction when the plane's belly is toward you. (Tip: Think push the rudder toward the low wing when the belly is toward you.) You have to be fast with throttle corrections. Most flyers add "bursts" of power, along with rudder/elevator corrections. If you simply hold full throttle, you'll climb out of the maneuver.
Fly out at full throttle.
Worst way to mess up:
Get turned around when the belly is facing you. Remember to push the tail the way you want it to go (when belly is facing you)
What it is: The Parachute is a vertical dive that instantly decelerates in its descent as it abruptly corners 90บ, turning into an Elevator.
Setup: A 3D setup is a must, i.e. 40ฐ elevator, and be sure to use Expo. Flip the switch to turn on the spoilerons. This will help to keep the Extra from teetering back and forth. Setting the CG toward the aft location will help, but I have had great results even at the forward CG location.
How to do it: Start from about 400-500 feet straight and level, chop throttle, and push the nose straight down. As soon as the model is diving straight down at low throttle, add full up elevator. If you do it right, the Extra will instantly transition from a vertical dive to an Elevator. (Tip: Add a little throttle just after transition to an Elevator. That'll keep fuel going to the engine and keep it from quitting.)
Recovery: Simply add full power and reduce elevator to transition into normal forward flight.
Advanced Recovery: Juggle the throttle to slowly lose altitude and do a Harrier landing. The model will land on the rear of the rudder first, then add a little power so it doesn't smack the landing gear too hard.
Worst way to mess up: To build up too much speed. This maneuver has huge "WOW" factor, but just like a Blender, too much speed and it over stresses the wing. So watch the speed.
What it is: The Wall is a Parachute turned on end. The model starts in normal level flight and suddenly corners nose up 90บ...as if it hit a wall.
Setup: Same as the Parachute.
How to do it: Start from about 100 feet straight and level, chop throttle, and as the model begins to slow down, quickly pull full up elevator. When the plane corners to vertical, add full power and release the up elevator. (Tip: Start a low speed and add power at the same time that you begin to pull full up elevator.
Recovery: Simply release the elevator, go to full throttle, and fly out upward.
Advanced Recovery: Juggle the throttle to sustain a hover and transition into a Torque Roll.
Worst way to mess up: If you don't get the throttle in quickly enough, the model falls backward. Not good.
These articles were originally written by Mike Mconneville and published by Hangar 9.
The Moonwalk: Flying the airplane backwards while in a horizontal line.
The Suicide Slide: Bringing the airplane down a vertical down line in a knife-edge. A Elevator in Knife edge.
The Pogo: Similar to a hover, however making the airplane increase and decrease altitude while in a hover. Controllable tail slide is important with a Pogo.
The Tail Slide: Flying the airplane backwards while in a vertical line.
The Harrier: Flying the airplane with a very high angle of attack. Very little forward movement. Can be performed up right or inverted and also landing is possible from a Harrier. From Parachute to Elevator to Harrier.
Knife Edge Hover
The Knife Edge Hover: Similar to a hover, however while in a knife-edge position with no forward movement.
The Toilet Bowl: Similar to a waterfall, however on a horizontal line. From a knife-edge, the aircraft flips end over end on the horizontal line and continues to fly in original direction.
The Blender: While rolling in a vertical downline, slamming the airplane into an inverted flat spin. Good test of wing bolts.
The Elevator: Dropping the airplane vertically with little to no forward movement. The airplane looks as it is falling out of the sky while maintaining the wings level. Also can be performed inverted.
The Tick Tock: Rotating the airplane 180 degrees to inverted then 180 degrees back to up right as the plane falls vertically. Also can be performed the other way around.
Parachute: A wall from a vertical down line. Can be done up-right or inverted. You transfer from a Wall to an Elevator and bring the plane straight down.
Wall or Pop-Up: From straight level flight, the plane rotates 90 degrees to a vertical position and comes to a sudden stop. Go from a Wall to a Hover or Torque Roll.
The Waterfall: From a hover, the plane flip end over end. Normally done pushing down elevator and modulating throttle to control.
Hover or hovering: Holding the plane in a stationary vertical position with out it torque rolling.
The Torque Roll: Holding the plane in a stationary vertical position while the torque of the motor, rotates the plane around the motor. The roll is to the left. You can also, TR down the field allowing the plane to rotate and go with the wind