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Aviation/Flying/Snap roll VS Spin qusetion


A snap roll is an autorotation with rudder input and generally higher power or higher speed.

One wing is stalled in a snap roll, both wings are stalled in a spin. - Do you agree at all with this last statement?

I don't agree.  As I said in an earlier response to one of your questions, a snap roll and a spin are exactly the same thing, they only have a differnet entry speed, and thus a different flight path.  Most experts in aeronautical engineering teach that both wings are stalled in a spin.  They know more than I do, but I have never fully supported that statement.  To be "stalled" means that the wing is not producing enough lift to support the weight of the aircraft.  If you stall one wing, then no amount of lift generated by the other wing will be sufficient to support the aircraft; by that reasoning, you can say that the outboard wing is stalled, but just not as deeply stalled as the inboard wing.  My opinion (not shared by most experts) is that the outboard wing is flying, but since the inboard wing is stalled, the outboard wing can only "fly" in circles around the stalled side of the craft.  Try this experiment if you have access to an airplane that is approved for spins, and if you or your instructor are trained to execute spins safely.  Put the airplane into a spin, and once the spin is established, push the stick or yoke forward.  If you're "flying," pushing forward will increase your airspeed; indeed, the outboard (flying) wing will speed up, just as you would expect from a flying wing, and the rate of rotation will increase - a lot.  This is called an accelerated spin.  Aerobatic pilots do the same thing with a snap roll; to increase the rate of rotation, as soon as the roll begins, you push the stick forward, and you recover with neutral stick and full opposite rudder.  Thank you for your thoughtful question, as I said before, it's good to be curious.


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Jeff Davis


I can answer questions about general aviation, learning to fly, how to get started, and how to buy an airplane. Area of specialty is aerobatic flying. I do not have any expertise in flight training opportunities for students outside the USA, and I am not qualified to offer advice on becoming an airline pilot.


I am no longer active in aerobatic flying, but was formerly a professional airshow performer and aerobatic flight instructor, with extensive experience in Decathlon and Pitts aircraft and light experience in other types. I also competed in IAC sanctioned competition through the Advanced level.

No longer active, past member of Experimental Aircraft Association, International Aerobatic Club, International Council of Air Shows, and Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

World Airshow News

Commercial and instrument rated, certificated flight instructor since 1986

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