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Pattern vs Aerobatic

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Old 12-05-2005, 10:09 AM
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rcbigbob
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Default Pattern vs Aerobatic

I hear/read people who say "I fly pattern" or "this is a pattern plane" vs "this is an aerobatic plane". Is there a difference? Isn't it all flying maneuvers in a precise manner? What differentiates them? What makes a pattern plane a pattern plane vs aerobatic? I know that an IMAC plane needs to be scale of a certain size, but beyond that, and the nuances of particular models, is there a difference in the flying?
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:07 PM
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BadBoy__MadMikey
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Default RE: Pattern vs Aerobatic

in pattern a few more things are scored, like take offs and landings are scored where in imac they are not. also pattern has many more restrictions on the size and weight of the plane. also in pattern the postion of the manuvers is a little more critcial, where is imac it isn't so much. one manuver that is really the same but calle ddiffrent is pattern is a stall turn , where in imac the almost same manuver is called a hammerhead. i flew pattern some years ago for about 2 years and i now fly imac and 2006 will be my first full year of competing. pattern can be alittle more tight lipped over imac, during imac contest things are a little more relaxed and everyone has a good time!!! don;t get me wrong they do in pattern but not so much. in imac more contest no hold a frestyle contest at the end of the weekend after all the rounds are over, where in pattern they don;t have a freestyle contest. these are just a few i can think of, someone more than likely knows many more diffrences

mike
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Old 12-05-2005, 12:59 PM
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Geistware
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Default RE: Pattern vs Aerobatic

Pattern is another name for Precision Aerobatics. It come in two flavors: AMA style pattern (National Society of Radio Controlled Aerobatics) and IMAC (International Miniature Aerobatic Club). There are several differences between the two types. IMAC rules require scale-like aircraft and AMA pattern requires a plane specifically made to fly RC aerobatic maneuvers. Different maneuver sequences are used in each style. AMA style pattern has been around for 30 or more years, while IMAC is somewhat newer.

Except for the planes there really isn't and difference between IMAC and NSRCA. TEh same maneuvers are performend. How they are judged are different and what manuevers are allowed in which classes is different, but if you need to do a loop or roll in NSRCA then you will do the same thing in IMAC.

Take a look at the RC aerobatics guide. http://www.modelaircraft.org/comp/05...c-aero2005.pdf
Page 1 -88 is for pattern, page 88 to 111 is for IMAC.
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Old 12-05-2005, 01:33 PM
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Default RE: Pattern vs Aerobatic

Thank you, that was the most comlete, unbiased answer I've ever had. Now I understand. Before I used to hear a lot of acrimony from the "pattern" camp towards the aerobatic camp, without ever really understanding the difference. Now I do.
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:57 PM
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Default RE: Pattern vs Aerobatic

I'm a rookie in both camps. Competition is the name of the game in both. Rules are a bit different, but as the man says, basic loops, rolls, spins & snaps are common to both. IMAC rules require a model to be within 10% scale of a full-scale aerobatic plane, so the popular models are Extras, CAPs, Sukhois, Yaks, Edges, etc. Go to an IMAC meet and what you'll see on the field is mostly 1/3 scale on up to 40, 42, 45%, mostly twin cylinder gas powered. They will have transparent canopies with visible dummy pilot and instrument panel, because that's what scale models are. Pattern models are typically not scale to any full-size aircraft, but rather designed in pursuit of the elusive goal of no rudder coupling to ailerons, elevator or throttle.

Go to a pattern meet and what you will mostly see is wingspans 78" or slightly less, fuselages 78" long (long tail moment), very sleek in appearance, fish-like silhouette, virtually all with inverted single cylinder two-strokes (Webra, OS, Mintor) pumped and piped for power, or YS 4-strokes, also inverted, still with muffler pipe; canopy opaque, no pilot, no instrument panel. Pattern planes are limited to 5 kilograms dry weight (11 pounds), so most of them are molded fiberglass or carbon/kevlar composite fuselage, looking for precise form with high strength to weight. Of course the IMAC planes have also gone over to composite ARFs as well, but there are many ARFs in both categories still made from built-up balsa & ply (and they fly well too).

I know a fair number of guys who have switched from pattern to IMAC or vice versa, and they all have their reasons. I fly both because I like them both, and there are not a lot of competitions in either category easily driveable from southern NH. If either one of them were to become popular to the point where I could make half a dozen meets a year, I'd probably fly that exclusively, whichever one it might be, because the standard of competition really calls for a lot of work setting up your plane, and a lot of practice once you have it set up. Flying both IMAC and pattern is OK for an entry-level flyer like myself, but anyone flying in the upper classes is not likely to want to split his time and energy two ways. One is more than enough of a challenge.

Anyway, there is a definite difference in design criteria between the two, one based on full scale, the other based on whatever design the genius types think will be light, strong and neutral in flight behavior. When I say geniuses, I am not being flip, but speak with serious admiration for the knowledge and effort that goes into these designs.

As to personality types...! What can I say? These guys are serious competitors, but at the same time they are decent, sociable people who will give each other the shirt off their back. Many stories of lending each other parts, spare engines, whole airplanes to finish a competition with. One hears the occasional dig about the other side, but this sort of talk is mostly within the lodge. What I see is the veteran IMAC flyers have complete respect for the pattern persuasion, and vice versa. It's maybe like Formula One vs. stock cars--somewhat different styles, but both serious endeavors. There is a tremendous amount of emotional energy invested in this kind of "fun", and in times of stress I guess people will say things that may be misinterpreted.

The IMAC crowd seems to be more 3D oriented than the pattern people. Most IMAC planes are rigged to do 3D, and the Artistic Aerobatics part of an IMAC meet is heavy on 3D maneuvers. This sort of thing is totally absent from a pattern meet-- at least as far as the official program. But after the rounds are finished for the day, pattern guys will get out their foamies and Funtanas or whatever for recreational flying.

The pattern crowd is experimenting with electric power in a serious way, but I doubt that will ever spread to IMAC.

Pattern old-timers complain about the shrinking contest calendar, loss of pattern-friendly fields, the high and rising cost of entry, competition rules that seem to get harder to interpret every year. IMAC seems to have benefited greatly from the availability of big ARFs, so you don't have to spend two years putting a plane together. You don't have to spend thousands of dollar to join the fun, but deep pockets certainly help--especially in IMAC with their $2000 power plants, 10 or 12 servos at $100 apiece. And of course a $2000 radio will help make you feel like one of the guys. I doubt I will ever get to that stage...but if I were younger, flush with cash and energy, had plenty of free time in my schedule and had a well-organized household, I could be tempted! Then don't forget the trailer and mobile home! No question about it, America is a wonderful country. (What!? Me?! Jealous?!)

Seriously, there is plenty to admire in both camps, speaking of the people, their equipment, knowledge and flying ability.
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Old 12-06-2005, 12:35 AM
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Default RE: Pattern vs Aerobatic

I've competed seriously at both and agree with most of the posts above.

Pattern has a much smaller "box" to fly in. You only fly 1 round at a time, and as mentioned above, landing and take offs are a part of the sequence, regardless of wind conditions. Pattern is much, much more harsh on centering and in-box placement of the manuevers, as well as smooth and gracefull. However, pattern is only downgraded by the judges for 1 pt per 15 degree off. The planes are smaller, as a rule quieter, and as a rule cheaper(although this is starting to change)

IMAC has a much larger "box" with a tremendously deeper backside to it. I personally know of clubs that have been closed down because of this. Not a dig here, just a fact. I'm not gripping either because I like the huge rolling circle also, just can't be done at every field.
By the same token, jets can't fly at every field for different reasons alsol. In IMAC, you fly the sequence twice, yeilding 2 different round scores without landing. I have seen pilots let someone else land their plane after flying. The downgrade in IMAC is stiffer, 1 pt per 10 degrees off. IMAC has many more snaps/spins. IMAC also has Unknowns on Sun morning which can be a thrill.

Those are the differences, but look at my signiture which has been this way for 4-5 years.

The similarities are competition. A HUGE misperception is you can fly almost anything in either for Basic. you don't need an IMAC plane or a Pattern plane to compete in the entry level classes. Both groups have a blast. I beg to differ with the above on Pattern pilots. The pilots that fly Pattern (AMA) have as much fun, but fly more flights per day. On saturday, the contest is set to fly 4 seperate flights, whereas in IMAC they will fly 2 seperate flights, with 2 sequences each. Both have 4 individual scores.

I believe most pilots wanting to compete will typically gravitate to what is available, or what they see at their specific club. In some areas, pattern is thriving and IMAC suffering, and in others vica versa. There is lots of grumbling from either side of the fence. Such is life.

Try either, have fun, and you will probably fly better on a daily basis if you do.

ed
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Old 12-06-2005, 01:03 AM
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Default RE: Pattern vs Aerobatic

The sequences are quite different as well. Pattern sequences will remained unchanged for several years. IMAC gets a new sequence for each class every year. In the Sportsman and above IMAC there are unknown sequences. What happens is that on Saturday after the days flying is done you will get the unknown sequence and are expected to go home or to the hotel and work it out with a stick plane. The first time you ever fly the sequence on Sunday you will be scored on it. The manuevers are different as well in pattern there ate no fractional snaps. rolls or rolling circles. IMAC manuver catalog originated from full scale aerobatics.


Shawn Berkheimer

R/C Blimp Productions.com
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Old 12-06-2005, 02:57 AM
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Default RE: Pattern vs Aerobatic

I think it's harder to fly the IMAC planes. They are scale, and as such, have coupling and other unwanted flight characteristics. You have to be good enough to fly the plane without anyone noticing.

Pattern planes have had all those bad tendencies engineered out. They fly neutral at any attitude. They don't suffer from pitch, or rudder coupling as bad as a scale plane.

Not looking for a fight--just stating my opinion

Flamesuit on.
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Old 12-06-2005, 08:58 AM
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Default RE: Pattern vs Aerobatic

And on the other side, IMAC planes can be larger (usually are but don't have to be), so they are easier to see, fly, and judge. They can be flown slower and farther out than a pattern plane so there is a lot more time to think between maneuvers. As for coupling, most of the modern designs have reduced coupling to a bare minimum, and what remains can be easily mixed out with the radio. The large size also allows the use of fuel efficient, clean running, and very reliable gasoline engines - no flameouts means the airframes don't suffer an early death.

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Old 12-06-2005, 09:51 AM
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Default RE: Pattern vs Aerobatic

I fly both, mostly pattern lately. Aside from the planes and sequences, people who haven't participated in both would be surprised at how similar they actually are as far as experiences and the people, and I've seen plenty of gas engines flame out.
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:14 AM
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Default RE: Pattern vs Aerobatic

There is a lot of whimsy in deciding which flys best - but - bigger is easier to fly - always - as it provides more time (and space and the RN improvement from increased size makes it all more solid feeling.
If you really don't care for contests tho - just make your model as light as possible add all the power you can -then learn to fly it through the maneuvers at even speeds . Use the power only as needed to hold a speed.
A semi scale aerobatic design down to about 80" span is very good at any of the pattern or IMAC stuff -as long as it is setup correctly -and light.
I once watched a good flyer win pattern EXPERT with a .15 powered arf against other really top notch pattern flyrs (both were US team flyers in World competition)-because he understood how to keep the little bugger on line . That is an exception but don't get caught up in which design is best - there are a jillion good aerobatic designs which will do all the stuff extremely well - the trick is make a setup which is easily controlled and has plenty of reserve power .
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Old 12-08-2005, 03:52 PM
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Default RE: Pattern vs Aerobatic

Bob,

Where do you fly? I am in the area (between DC and Baltimore) and fly IMAC and have flown pattern-- you'll have to come out and join us at the field one day and we can run through the routines and such- answer any questions you have. I can try to bring and IMAC plane and a pattern plane.

Dave Michael
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