Originally Posted by campbellj
True. I've never really practiced coordinated turns, only bank and yank and opposite rudder turns. I think I'm going to tonight with my sim though and a aileron sail plane and go too far with it to see if I can recreate my mistake. I never really intend to get my RP into a steep bank though, but I do think I go too far accidentally and having rudder the same way doesn't help any at that point, then I'm in a dive and roll at the same time and trying to correct it. After you mentioned it while ago I had to go grab my T-28, hold it in the air and do the moves with it trying to figure out what was happening lol, my wife thought I was crazy as all she seen was me twirling a plane in the air not knowing why.....I never told her why after either lol
+1 for Campbell and aeajr's comments. Practicing hand coordinating turns will teach you alot about how the airplane handles, and you learn where the 'groove' is in a turn. I have a switch set up to add aileron rudder/mixing, but unless I'm too far away to see how the airplane is flying, I usually don't use it. (Mostly to keep my thumbs in practice for marginal conditions, which are typical for a good part of the year where I fly.)
Another thing with thermal type coordinated turns (multiple 360's, something most power airplanes avoid
), especially tight ones, is you may end up needing to use a slight bit of opposite aileron once in the turn to keep the inside wing from dipping. If you are relying solely on aileron/rudder mix, your turn radius will increase until it hits the neutral angle, which unfortunately is almost never optimal for whatever thermal you are in. Saiplane pilots need to determine, and hold, whatever particular turn radius makes the airplane go up fastest. Big boomer thermals allow lots of mistakes, but with little, tight, down low thermals on a windy day you'll do a lot less walking if you hand coordinate the turns.
My thinking when thermalling is opposite that of a coordinated 'end of the field' turn where you set the bank with the ailerons, pull the turn with the elevator, and eliminate the 'nose up' skid with the rudder. In a thermal, I'm maintaining the diameter of the turn with the rudder (and elevator, which has to be coordinated, too) and using the ailerons to keep it banked into that nice efficient groove. It's hard to describe, but easy to see, the saiplane just flies easier, looks nicer.... most importantly, it keeps going up!
Big diameter turns need a little 'in' aileron, tight turns need a little 'out' aileron.