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barnowljenx 03-29-2021 02:56 PM

A book for Beginners and Improvers to Pattern Flying
About 10 years ago when I took up pattern flying, I couldn't find a book to help me. Lots of stuff on 3D but noting on pattern. The best book I could find was for full size aerobatics by the late Neil Williams. After struggling through the first round of competitions and setting up some training courses, I wrote a thread elsewhere on how to start off in precision aeros. Like all threads it became too difficult to navigate easily and someone suggested I write a book.

Some years later, and having re-written 90% of the original text, I now have a book available. If you are interested you can reach it on Amazon - just type in Model Aircraft Precision Aerobatics. It's available as a Kindle or paperback. Be happy to respond if you have any queries.


FBW 03-29-2021 09:11 PM


rgburrill 03-30-2021 03:34 AM

Back when the Internet was young and we didn't have all the clickbait ads and pictures to contend with you could get a lot more information on things like pattern flying. That's where I got my information: what the different classes were, what the pattern was for each class, how to fly each pattern including entry and exit, how to set up you plane for stable flying; who was in your area that could help (yes they actually did help); all the things you needed to know. And it was all free.
The Internet was developed for engineers and scientists in schools, companies and the military to work with each other over long distances so information that wasn't classified was readily available. Today it's full of crap for people who want to play games, watch movies, shop for unnecessary toys and read drivel. And, of course, it's loaded with pictures that slow all the engineering speed improvements for the original users down to a what we had 20 years ago.

FBW 04-04-2021 04:40 PM


barnowljenx 05-19-2021 03:40 PM

Just like to thank the 49 of you who have bought my book and hope that you are finding it useful. If you have any comments about it please feel free to post and I'll respond.

barnowljenx 07-22-2021 06:24 AM

Hi Folks

Just thought I'd update you with where these books have been bought. In descending order of sales they are: United Kingdom, USA, Italy, Germany, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

Total sales to date now exceed 150 copies.


barnowljenx 08-20-2021 02:25 PM

The largest circulation R/C magazine in the UK, RCM&E, has just published a review of my book in their September Edition. The Editor, Kevin Crozier, is happy for me to quote his review in support of my book. The full text is below.:


Over the years the market for aeromodelling books has dwindled to the point that no major publisher that I am aware of is currently releasing new English language titles on a regular basis to appeal to R/C model aircraft enthusiasts. (If they are then they need to start sending RCM&E review copies!) It therefore takes some guts for a new author to write such a book, especially knowing that the only realistic way for it to ever see the light of day is to self-publish. But that is exactly what Peter Jenkins has done with his new handbook, Model Aircraft Precision Aerobatics: A Guide for Beginners and Improvers.

Peter used the Amazon CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing platforms to bring his 136-page book to life in both printed and e-book formats. And a very fine job of it he has done too! It even has an ISBN number: 979-8728383345.

Although intended as a primer for those interested in maybe someday competing in precision aerobatic competitions, such as the F3A class events run by the GB R/C Aerobatic Association, it really has much wider appeal and will be of interest to any intermediate or advanced level club pilot who wishes to improve their standard of aerobatic flying.

Written in an easy-to-read informative style, Peter covers the following topics:

Getting started

Basic concepts in aerobatics, including the effects of gravity and wind

Setting up and trimming

Flying basic aerobatic maneouvres

Practice routines for beginners

Flying the GBRCAA Clubman Schedule

Starting to fly in competitions

Aerobatic aircraft characteristics

One of the benefits of limited run self-publishing is that is relatively easy to add to such a book and in the review copy Peter has already added two Annexes for those pilots seeking more information on Setup & Trimming, as well discussing Some Aerodynamic Issues affecting F3A style models.

There's much to be learned from Peter's easy to digest writing, even for model pilots of many decades experience. For instance, if you find yourself screwing out at the end of rolls, rather than carrying on rolling on the (sort of!) straight and level, start rolling on a 45 degree up line until you have perfected a straight roll. With the danger removed of your model heading towards the ground after such a manoeuvre you can relax and really work out what you need to do to keep the model rotating axially. Then gradually reduce the angle until you can roll your model neatly across the horizontal.

This book is packed full of such gems and when you've read through it for the first time it would be well worth make notes of individual tips, such as the one above, and using a few flights to really hone your skills before moving on to improving another area of your flying. This will make much better use of your flight time than just stooging around the sky for five to ten minutes and pulling the odd scruffy loop and roll. Then, after a bit more practice, you could well be ready to take part in your very first aerobatic competition!

Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk the paperback version is priced at 19.99 or just 6.99 for the Kindle e-book.

Kevin Crozier

bjr_93tz 09-02-2021 03:46 PM

Just a casual observation I've recently made about my flying, and which I've noticed in a few other performance sports I've participated in over the years is that I have tended to "learn" to get good at something. I put "learn" in quotes because I'm like the person who's learned to play many songs on a piano, but can't actually play a piano. They can play whole songs and string together parts of those to play medleys, but they can't play a piano in the true sense.

Two things really brought this to my attention. While learning to fly heli's I had no trouble with flying around and flying towards myself for landing until the heli stopped nose-in in a hover. I was using the "flying towards myself" part of the brain from my fixed wing experience but didn't have a "hovering nose-in" part wired up yet. Although for all intents and purposes the orientation and control reactions are identical.
The 2nd one was flying the heli inverted, the "flying inverted" part of my brain was wired to the fixed wing down elevator pressure almost like a TX condition switch, pulling "up elevator" to fly the heli inverted kept jarring my brain out of it's "inverted" mode.

Those two things got me thinking and it's a re-occurring theme for me. Learning to do something specific well, then combining that with something else to build a repertoire of learned actions rather than develop the fundamental skills. There's a reason students practice the scales when learning to play a piano, but we don't seem to have an equivalent approach for learning to fly a pattern ship. We're stuck on learning the sheet music and improving how you press the keys.

barnowljenx 09-03-2021 01:18 PM

All good points bjr_93tz. The best way to learn new tricks is to think the whole process through on the ground first. Trying it out in the air without thinking about it is usually a precursor to a bad outcome! For example, learning how to do a bunt is best done either by starting much higher than you would normally fly or else rolling inverted and pushing. I always encourage people who are learning to speak aloud key facts such as PUSH PUSH to get the natural tendency to pull when in difficulties. Saying this out aloud, at least for me, reinforces the message. In pattern, we spend roughly half the time flying inverted or carrying out negative g manoeuvres. After a while it becomes second nature but, as you point out, learning this new procedure is neither quick nor easy but requires perseverance.

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