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Why most modellers prefer left counterclockwise turns with their planes?

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Why most modellers prefer left counterclockwise turns with their planes?

Old 01-02-2014, 01:01 AM
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georgek54
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Default Why most modellers prefer left counterclockwise turns with their planes?

Hi friends

Wish you a Happy New Year !

An ever lasting question with no obvious answer: Why all modellers prefer to make counterclockwise turns with their planes?

I don't mean that they can not make also clockwise turns, but it seems that the most prefer the contrary, even when the wind blows from left to right. I also prefer c.c.w. turns not beeing able to exlain this.

I wonder, is the ccw- turn easier for some reason?

Some people give the explanation that this has to done with the rotation-direction of the propeller. Other, that it is has to done weather one is right- or left-handed.

But the question remains.


Best Regards

George
Old 01-02-2014, 05:39 AM
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TomCrump
 
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Around here, most make right turns.

It really depends on wind, and field orientation.

Say that the runway runs norh/south. The wind is out of the north. The flying station is on the west side of the runway.

You take off into the wind, and turn right, to avoid flying over back, the pit area. This is the start of a right hand pattern. All turns will be to the right.

Now, same field, same wind, but the flting station/ pits are on the east side of the runway. You take off, and turn left, to avoid flying over your pits and flying station. This is a left hand pattern.

Last edited by TomCrump; 01-02-2014 at 05:42 AM.
Old 01-02-2014, 06:36 AM
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flyinwalenda
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Yes, the wind should determine the "pattern" direction for flight after takeoff provided the runway is laid out where the prevailing winds blow down the runway l-r or r-l . There's one field I go to where a lot of the folks could not or were not comfortable with flying a certain pattern. Even when the wind dictated taking off in one direction, as soon as they were airborne they would turn around and fly the other way and when it came time for landing they had to make an awkward turn in order to land.

Last edited by flyinwalenda; 01-02-2014 at 08:15 AM.
Old 01-02-2014, 07:31 AM
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TomCrump
 
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Changing pattern after take off is a bit like driving the wrong way down a one way street, isn't it ?
Old 01-02-2014, 08:09 AM
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raptureboy
 
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Interesting phenomenon which like the op says, may not have an answer. Every field I have flown at flys counter clockwise(left turn). At our field we fly cc and only if the wind is real bad do we take off in the other direction, but then turn around and fly CC again. We do have lots of trees at the one end of the runway which makes landing harder.
Old 01-02-2014, 08:24 AM
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Cool

Originally Posted by georgek54 View Post
............Other, that it is has to done weather one is right- or left-handed.
Good question, George !!!

It seems to me that is due to most pilots' brains being right-handed.

Note how we and designers draw airplanes on a piece of paper: nose points to the left in each case.

Same applies for any drawings or paints done by right-handed persons: flags, cars, motorcycles, animals, etc.

To those persons, it seems more natural to see their models taking-off and landing with the nose pointing to the left.

Coincidentally, most do more left than right rolls, because they feel that rolling that way is more natural.

Many bicycle and motorcycle riders have the same difficulty for banking or doing U-turns on the right side.

Proficient pilots work hard to eliminate that directional difficulty.
Old 01-02-2014, 08:32 AM
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hookedonrc
 
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At our field, we fly whatever pattern is dictated by the wind. During certain seasons, our counter clockwise turns are when the wind is out of the south...then when it is out of the North, it is clockwise. For me, I take off in either direction as dictated by the windsock and direction. Then once in the air, I usually begin a warm up routine which includes figure 8's...that way I practice both types regardless of wind direction.

And here's another question for you....When was it decided that all passenger planes would board from the left side of the plane. My guess is it is the captains side, but don't know for sure. Ponder that one...
Old 01-02-2014, 08:34 AM
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kwblake
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I don't have an answer for this, but back in my motorcycle days, I found it more natural taking a left hand corner, rather than a right hand. I am right handed. Doesn't really make sense to me. Maybe it's a left brain, right brain thing. When I am using my Simulator, I find myself turning left, more that right. I do right hand turns also, but it's almost like I have to force myself to do them. Also, when taking off on the Sim. it seems most of them are to my left. Again, doesn't really make sense.

I guess three of us were typing at the same time. Too funny.

Last edited by kwblake; 01-02-2014 at 08:36 AM.
Old 01-02-2014, 12:58 PM
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I find that CC for me is more natural, roll right, right stick, roll left, left stick, yaw right, right stick, yaw left, left stick. Now reverse direction, coming at me from my right, roll right, left stick, roll left, right stick.

Not the plane, but my vision of the plane as it is coming towards me. The stick functions are always the same, but when the plane is landing where I fly, its is more natural landing left to right, which is CC for me. When the plane is going right it is turning away from me, but when coming in clockwise, to the right is into the barn, so I have to remember go left(right) in that direction. Took me two years to finally be comfortable enough to land in that direction.

Last edited by acdii; 01-02-2014 at 01:01 PM.
Old 01-02-2014, 03:29 PM
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dbacque
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I'll bet the answer is "Predominant Wind" for a given field. At our field, we most frequently take off left to right, so most of the time people fly a counter clockwise pattern. We have some fliers who really do have a hard time flying the other direction. As an instructor, I always change things up for my students and force them to make both left and right turns.

But having done a lot of learning flying slope soarers, given my druthers, I find I tend to fly in a figure 8 pattern, always turning away from the flight line. These things become ingrained into your brain. I haven't flown a sloper in over 30 years but I can't get that pattern out of my head.

Dave
Old 01-02-2014, 04:06 PM
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ARUP
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P-factor might be one reason and gyroscopic precession might be another. Habit, as mention, is even another. I like flying all ways! (Pun intended)
Old 01-02-2014, 04:13 PM
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049flyer
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Maybe it's because some of us don't practice patterns in both directions. If you are one of these people you may need to get out the old trainer and practice a bit.
Old 01-02-2014, 04:30 PM
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jtotten
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At my club field, a requirement in the training program is to make 3 take-offs and landings in each pattern direction. Our chief instructors theory is that every novice should feel comfortable in either pattern direction.
Old 01-02-2014, 04:31 PM
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Steve_P.
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The traditional pattern for real aircraft in the vicinity of an uncontrolled airport (no tower) is CCW. For airports with towers, the pattern is CCW unless specifically directed to do so. For aircraft with side-by-side seating on the flight deck, the pilot is in the left seat, making a left turn easier when the pilot is turning onto base and onto final prior to landing. Control line planes used to fly in either direction, but when team racing and combat became popular in the late '40s/early '50s, CCW was the chosen direction, significantly reducing the chances of a head-on!
Old 01-02-2014, 05:05 PM
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I always blamed it on flying control line when I was a kid , unless you were flying inverted , you were flying counter clockwise .
Old 01-02-2014, 05:14 PM
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rcguy59
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Coriolis Effect. CCW above the equator, CW below. The Aussies probably fly right-hand patterns.
Old 01-02-2014, 05:16 PM
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wjvail
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I always thought it was because most (many) simulators start you off on the left side of the screen and have you pass left to right with most of the open space in front of you. It encourage folks from the very first to fly left to right as they fly up the flight line.

Sims have gotten better and not all of them start you off this way.... but that was the way it was for early sims and that is what the current crop of folks learned to fly on.

I learned to fly before sims and at clubs with members that hadn't seen a simulator. Right hand patterns were the same as left - just the other way round.

Bill
Old 01-02-2014, 05:35 PM
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RCRC
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I think that "P-Factor" is the largest reason that tends to make left turns more controllable and easier with powered airplanes. This forms our early preference for left turns and most of us make a very high percentage of left turns during our training. To improve our proficiency with right turns takes quite a lot of practice and indeed it may always be easier for many of us to turn left. Full scale pilot training includes a considerable amount of instruction on the effect of prop-wash on the various aerodynamic surfaces. Certain European (and other) engines rotate in the opposite direction of most of our model engines, and I would suspect that those flyers may find right turns more comfortable. Non-powered aircraft would react equally in both directions of turn, however, since most of us are more comfortable turning left we are still likely to find left turns easier - even with a sailplane. -Just my 2 cents!
Old 01-02-2014, 05:36 PM
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So let me understand , if my toilet , when flushed, turns CCW , I'll too will favor turning in that same direction .
Well we all are 90% water .
This is good stuff
Old 01-02-2014, 06:07 PM
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gsmarino2000
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I can fly both but I'm definitely smoother and more coordinated flying counterclockwise (left hand turns). I also line up my approach straighter with the runway when approaching from my left. I would guess most of our pilots are the same because they typically switch to a counterclockwise pattern regardless of the take off direction. I would credit this to habit based on the prevailing wind direction, which is from the southeast matching a counterclockwise pattern.
Old 01-02-2014, 11:05 PM
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Nothing to do with 'P' factor or anything other than good old torque. The airplane turns left easier (with the torque) than right. Also why it rolls quicker left than right.
Evan, WB #12.
Old 01-03-2014, 02:42 AM
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Lifer
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25 years of pylon racing is the reason left-hand turns seem more natural to me.
Old 01-03-2014, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Lifer View Post
25 years of pylon racing is the reason left-hand turns seem more natural to me.
Banking left feels totally natural but on days when I'm forced to fly a right-hand pattern (wind out of the south)......it feels awkward. And on days when the wind is out of the north and we're supposed to fly a left-hand pattern I force myself to fly a few right-hand turns and figure-8's just to make sure I know how to bank/turn right.

23 years ago, before I ever got into R/C, I did a lot of mountain biking. There was a single-track trail through the woods that made sharp left turns and sharp right turns. And guess what - the sharp left turns were extremely easy to negotiate but I could NOT turn RIGHT without a lot of concentration. ***.

Different subject: Has anyone noticed that if you type the letter "w" followed by the letter "t" followed by the letter "f" ....RCU changes it to *** ? Double-U Tee Eff!

Last edited by oliveDrab; 01-03-2014 at 10:07 AM.
Old 01-03-2014, 05:53 AM
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An interesting thread, and many good explanations. Let me add a couple. Have you ever seen a Kentucky Derby or Indy 500 race run in a CW direction? Or any race for that matter. In my AF days, if I told a student to give me an aileron roll, guess which way he rolled every time? By nature, we all turn left easier than to the right.
We often encounter some difficulty when teaching a newby regarding making right hand patterns. A friend once mentioned that he always made better landings when going from right to left. There's always a pony in there somewhere. You just have to look for it.
Now then, who will be the first Californian out there to argue that he turns right easier than left.
Old 01-03-2014, 06:01 AM
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kwblake
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We need someone from "across the pond" to chime in on this. Horse racing, in England is run clockwise. Not sure about Australia.

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