A fun variation on a classic maneuver
One of the more popular aerobatic maneuvers is the Cuban-8, and there are lots of variations to pick from. Let’s look at one of my favorites: the half Cuban-8 with 1 1/2 negative snap rolls. The half Cuban-8 is usually performed with a half roll on the downline, but this version spices things up. By replacing the standard roll with the more-attention-getting 1 1/2 negative snap rolls (starting inverted and ending upright), the maneuver is more exciting overall and is a great deviation from the norm.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Let’s first examine the radio and aircraft setup. It is important to spend extra time in your workshop to ensure proper setup before taking to the skies. On a maneuver like this, which combines a rather elegant maneuver with a harsh element (the 1 1/2 negative snap), you have to use dual rates. I also recommend using flight modes (assigning all dual and/or triple rates to one specific switch). Doing this greatly minimizes pilot workload, allowing you more time to focus on performing the maneuver and less time looking for switches.
For this maneuver, I use low-rate settings for the looping portion of the maneuver, which is about 25% aileron expo, 25% elevator expo, and 30% rudder expo, with about 20 degrees of aileron deflection, 15 degrees of elevator deflection, and 30 degrees of rudder deflection. Then, for the snap roll, I use about 50% expo on both the ailerons and elevator control surfaces and about 55% of rudder expo with 35 degrees of aileron deflection, 20 degrees of elevator deflection, and about 40 degrees of rudder deflection on my next rate.
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