Section 2 - Takeoff and Form Up
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This section of the Program involves the same Formation Takeoff routine that we use when departing Bassingbourn to Fly Missions. The tricks to learn here are Timing, Airspeed, Climbing rate, Turn Control and Course Control.
- Skills to Practice and Master first -
- The straight line takeoff, keep your Aircraft on the center line of the runway.
- Accurate rate of Climb, Trim is critical here and it changes as the Gear goes up, use the Autopilot if you like.
- Accurate half Needle Turns, just takes practice, there is more on this in the Turns and Maneuvers Section.
- Leading the Duck, Only practice will help here.
- The Check ride will be done one on one as follows -
- We will line at the Hold Short for the Active Runway at Bassingbourn with the Candidate Aircraft behind the Check Ride Aircraft.
- The Check Ride Aircraft will Take off and maintain Runway Heading while Climbing at 500 Feet per Minute to 1000 Feet while maintaining a Speed of 150 to 165 MPH.
- 30 Seconds Later the Candidate Aircraft will Take Off and follow the Runway Heading while climbing to 1000 feet at 500 Feet per Minute.
- At a certain point, the Check Ride Aircraft will announce and begin a half needle (left or Right) turn while climbing at 500 Feet per Minute
- 10 Seconds later, the Candidate Aircraft will announce and begin a half needle Leading turn while climbing at 500 Feet per Minute to to 1000 feet to intercept the Check Ride Aircraft and form on the port wing at distance off the Check Ride center line of 100 feet (The wingspan of a B-17). This will place you in the Number 3 Position in the Element.
- What is a Leading Turn? -
- Well it's like duck hunting, where your aim point if slightly ahead of the duck on the path the duck is flying so when
you pull the trigger, the buckshot, which does not turn, will meet the duck by the time it gets to the point you were aiming at. You simply turn your aircraft while continuing to lead the aircraft you are aiming at so as to arrive at a position just off the Port or Starboard Wing or at his number 4 Position.
- Practice, Practice, Practice -
- When Flying Hop Phases 3, 4A, 4B and 5, you have great opportunities to practice the Formation Takeoff as you
will be flying with other aircraft. Don't waste your chances to practice.