# Maximum Rate Turns. Objective To carry out a balanced, maximum rate, level turn using full power.

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1 Advanced Manoeuvres Maximum Rate Turns To achieve the maximum rate of turn, the greatest possible force toward the centre of the turn is required. This is achieved by inclining the lift vector as far as possible. Therefore, maximum C L, achieved at the maximum angle of attack, is combined with the maximum angle of bank. The maximum rate of turn occurs when the aeroplane is changing direction at the highest possible rate, ie, maximum degrees turned through in minimum time. In most light two-seat training aeroplanes the angle of bank during this exercise is approximately 60 degrees. A minimum radius turn achieves a change of direction using less space and is usually done at a lower speed. This briefing discusses the factors that limit the rate of turn, not only for the aeroplane being flown, but also for fixed-wing aeroplanes in general, so that the principles may be applied to subsequent types. For the purposes of collision avoidance, in response to an emergency situation, the turn entry requires a rapid roll in. However, the roll out is smoothly executed because the emergency is over. It should be noted, however, that the need to do a maximum rate turn suggests earlier poor decision making. As an exercise, the rapid-roll in and smooth roll out provide excellent coordination practise, because two different rates of rudder and elevator application are required to match the rate of roll. Logically these turns would not be continued past 180 degrees in the case of collision avoidance. Objective To carry out a balanced, maximum rate, level turn using full power. Principles of Flight The limitations of turning while using the highest possible angle of attack and at the highest possible angle of bank are discussed. Briefly revise the forces in the turn and the increasing load factor with increasing angle of bank. Maximum Lift Lift varies with angle of attack and airspeed. The highest useful angle of attack is just before the critical angle, about 15 degrees. At this high angle of attack, maximum C L, considerable drag is produced, and if the aeroplane stalls, or the buffet is reached, the drag will increase dramatically. Ideally, sufficient backpressure should be applied to activate the stall warning (if it is operating) on its first note. Alternatively, the very edge of the buffet will need to be used as a guide to maximum C L. There are two considerations here for discussion with your supervisor. Firstly, flying the aeroplane with the stall warning activated and not carrying out the stall recovery could be considered negative transfer. On the other hand, considerable situational awareness is required to purposely operate the aeroplane in this regime.

2 2 Advanced Manoeuvres: Maximum Rate Turns Secondly, you should be aware that experiencing any buffet will reduce the rate of turn because of its effects on drag and L/D ratio. Therefore, if the stall warning is not operating, and the lightest of buffets is used to determine maximum C L, performance is degraded, and the aeroplane will not be turning at its maximum rate. Airspeed Figure 1

3 Advanced Manoeuvres: Maximum Rate Turns 3 The speed we are particularly interested in, with regard to maximum rate turns, is V A. V A is the maximum speed at which the pilot can make abrupt and extreme control movements and not overstress the aeroplane s structures. Above V A and the aeroplane can be overstressed before it stalls. Below V A the aeroplane will stall before it is overstressed. This is a particularly important consideration if the nose is allowed to drop during steep turns, and the pilot pulls back harder on the control column to regain the height. The correct recovery technique is to reduce the angle of bank before increasing the back pressure. V A is determined by multiplying the basic stall speed by the square root of the maximum load factor. If the aeroplane has a basic stall speed of 50 knots and a maximum flight load factor of 4, the V A speed would be 100 knots (50 4 = 100). Practically, the speed will be found in the Flight Manual. V A is affected by the aeroplane s weight and reduces as weight reduces. This is because a heavier aeroplane will take longer to respond to a full control deflection than a lighter aeroplane. The quick response of the lighter aeroplane results in higher loading. Therefore, as the weight of the aeroplane is reduced, the speed at which full and abrupt control movements can be made is also reduced (refer Flight Manual). Rate of turn is the rate of change of direction, ie, how many degrees are turned through in a specific time, usually a minute. Radius of turn is the size of the arc made by the aeroplane as it turns. Figure 2 A low speed means a higher rate of turn; a higher forward speed means a lower rate of turn. A high speed allows you to generate more lift and therefore use an increased angle of bank, but the high airspeed means the radius of the turn (how many nautical miles it takes to make the turn) is high and therefore the rate will be lower. To turn at maximum rate we need maximum centripetal force and maximum lift. The increased angle of attack means increased drag, so full power is used. As rate of turn is proportional to velocity the limiting factor in a maximum rate turn is power. If speed is below V A at entry, full power can be used before rolling into the turn. If speed is at V A full power can be applied in conjunction with the roll. When speed is above V A, roll into the turn first and then apply power, so as not to exceed V A. To make a maximum rate turn you need to turn at the highest angle of bank that can be sustained at the lowest possible airspeed just above V S this is why the stall warning is used to indicate maximum rate.

6 6 Advanced Manoeuvres: Maximum Rate Turns In the entry from straight and level, excess airspeed may permit a higher angle of bank to be selected initially, especially if the roll is very rapid. However, as the airspeed reduces, the angle of bank will need to be reduced to C Lmax to maintain altitude. Therefore, for the purposes of coordination, it may be beneficial to roll rapidly but smoothly, so that the airspeed reduction coincides with C Lmax and with the application of full power (refer CFI). If the very rapid roll-in is preferred (for a true avoidance turn rather than a coordination exercise), the initial angle of bank must not exceed the angle of bank at which the structural limits are reached. Maintaining the Turn Maintaining the turn incorporates the LAI scan. Emphasise lookout, and maintain the attitude for C Lmax and level flight. The effect of side-by-side seating on attitude recognition should be discussed, preferably with the aid of an attitude window. During the turn, maintain the maximum amount of lift for the airspeed by maintaining the first note of the stall warning with backpressure. As the lift cannot be increased any further, the altitude is maintained with angle of bank. Therefore, with the stall warning activated, if altitude is being gained or lost, alter the angle of bank. Angle of bank can only be increased to the maximum coinciding with the aeroplane s structural limit. An alteration of ±5 degrees angle of bank should be sufficient to maintain altitude. Exit Look into the turn for traffic and the reference point, and allow for inertia by anticipating about 30 degrees before (half the angle of bank), and roll out smoothly. Theoretically the emergency is over; anticipating by half the bank angle will require a reduced rate of rudder application compared to the entry. This provides practise in coordination. Smoothly roll wings level with aileron, balance with rudder in the same direction to overcome adverse yaw, and relax the backpressure to re-select the level attitude. Most low-powered training aeroplanes require the reduction of power to be delayed on exiting the maximum rate turn. Therefore, through knots (normally the same airspeed used in entering straight and level from the climb) reduce power to cruise rpm. Airborne Sequence The Exercise Once the student has taken you to the training area you should start the exercise with medium level turns, making sure the student notices the attitude. Follow with practise of the steep turns from the last lesson, also noting the attitudes required. Then you take over and demonstrate, with patter, the maximum rate turn in one direction, followed by student practise with you talking them through, and then the student has the opportunity to practise. Then the other direction. During one demonstration, the student s attention should be drawn to the rate of turn by looking at the rate at which the nose progresses around the horizon. If the aeroplane is brought to the buffet or stall, the rate of turn will noticeably decrease. Inclusion of this demonstration is at the CFI s discretion. The majority of the lesson is taken up with student practise, as it may take some time for them to reach an acceptable standard. After Flight Be clear with the student about whether you are happy for them to practise this exercise solo. There will be plenty of opportunity to practise these in dual flights.

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