View Full Version : Victory roll?

8th Apr 2005, 19:34
We have all heard of the "Victory roll" but just what sort of roll was it?:confused:

8th Apr 2005, 20:45
Barrelish wasn't it? As demonstrated in "The Battle of Britain".

"You'll end up spread all over the airfield like strawberry jam..."

Onan the Clumsy
8th Apr 2005, 20:52
A deuced sort of pulling up thingy with a bit of a...well roll thingy too. And a labrabor looking up wistfully helps.

Dashed useful too if you want to get a young girl's heart all a flutter.

8th Apr 2005, 23:34
For God's ake treadigraph, give your brain a chance.

It will buck up the civilians...

Chimbu chuckles
9th Apr 2005, 06:47
Both 'victory' rolls in BoB movie were aileron rolls....although the sound effects fella seemed to put in a slow roll recording for the one in France 'cause his engine faultered from negative G fuel starvation half way round...which shouldn't happen for an aileron roll.

Aileron rolls being a tad harder to **** up at low level twould seem the logical choice for a young fighter tyro in a moment of relieved exuberance too....relieved 'cause there isn't, on this occasion, a equally young and relieved tyro doing an aileron roll over a French airfield in a ME109...at his expence.

9th Apr 2005, 08:56
But Williamp, suppose its controls had been damged, hmmm..?

Actually I've been giving my brain a chance for forty bleedin' years and it's still a civillian buck up! :p

The Hurricane in France leaves a distinct smoke trail as the engine splutters - I've noticed that happen to a Spitfire (a MK V which I think had the floatless carb?) being rolled and looped at a an airshow - why does that happen?

9th Apr 2005, 09:02
It was in the days before Mrs Shilling and her famous orifice!

Shaggy Sheep Driver
9th Apr 2005, 10:31
The Hurricane in France leaves a distinct smoke trail as the engine splutters - I've noticed that happen to a Spitfire (a MK V which I think had the floatless carb?) being rolled and looped at a an airshow - why does that happen?

It's a rich cut, caused the carb failing to funtion correctly under conditions of less that 1 'G'.

As BEagle says, Miss Shilling's orifice sort of cured it. But not fully. It was such a cut, in one engine only during a wing-over, that did for the Mossie at Barton some years back.


9th Apr 2005, 12:35
No, the loss of power in the Barton accident was probably caused by incorrect set up of the LH carburettor causing fuel starvation in the wingover manoeuvre, not a 'rich cut'. The pilot appears to have mishandled the subsequent recovery....

Gate heights?

Shaggy Sheep Driver
9th Apr 2005, 14:19
'Gate heights' indeed. I was at Barton that day, but had taken the opportunity to sneak out to the north in the Chippy just before the Mossie display (which I'd seen many times before). I was about 7 or 8 miles north, aerobatting at about 3000 feet and still on the Barton frequency which had gone quiet as radio frequencies do while an aircraft is actually displaying.

As I pulled out of a loop the radio came live with "the crash is just to the west of the field" made to a Navy helicopter which had got airbourne to assist if possible. Turning south I could clearly see the column of smoke, and couldn't at first work out what had happened. There were several aeroplane in the area, and my first thought was that it was one of them that had come to grief - it couldn't be the Mossie because its display is just a benign series of fly-bys with wing-overs at each end. But subsequent transmissions soon confirmed what had happened.

I flew back to Barton somewhat in shock, and made a wobbly landing just before the field was closed.

Several experienced aeros pilots were commenting on the wing-over technique employed in the display, and when I saw the many videos of the display and the accident I was surprised that no mention of that technique was made in the subsequent AAIB report.

The only saving grace was that when it went so tragically wrong, it did so at the western end of te display over Barton Moss. If it had happened at the Eastern end, over Eccles, it could have been a whole lot worse.


10th Apr 2005, 10:27
OK so nobody actually knows what a Victory roll really was then:8 :bored:

10th Apr 2005, 11:50
A very gash manoeuvre - it consists of flying low and fast, pulling up slightly to avoid descending when inverted, then applying full aileron until upright again.

Rather like a fast 'slow roll' but without the associated co-ordinated use of rudder and elevator controls.

Pilots were killed by trying it too low, failing to pitch up sufficiently to avoid descending, then hitting the ground at around the 90 deg to go point...... As the speed decreased during the roll, the a/c would obviously be out of trim and would need increased back pressure to maintain level flight when the roll was completed.

Except in a/c such as the Gnat, 'aileron rolls' are not a particularly impressive aerobatic manoeuvre. In fact we never even taught them in the RAF!

Tim Mills
11th Apr 2005, 08:39
I was going to say mine were always immaculate and smooth, but were really as Beags says, pretty unimpressive. Then I remembered it was Dave Curry who did the Hurricane one in the BofB film. I was the stiff upper lip Squadron Commander of the Polish squadron who kept on straight and level while his troops disobeyed orders and peeled off into the fray. So I had better shut up then!

11th Apr 2005, 11:34
"Stop that Polish chatter and steer 2 3 0!"
"Repeat please!"
"I say again 2 3 0!
"Repeat please!"
"For crying out load, 2 3 0!"
"Repeat please!"
"Repeat please"
"Repeat please!"
"Now shut up the lot of you and follow me. Unless you're blind as well as......Oh, gawd strewth!"

11th Apr 2005, 12:37
Thanks chaps - I was at a loss to understand the reference to Mrs Shilling, then I received some stuff from John Farley which will appear on the Farnborough thread in a day or two... lo an behold, there she was...

The Spitfire victory roll in BoB really appeared to pull up quite steeply (was that shot at Lympne?). I must watch it again...

Silence in Polish!

12th Apr 2005, 11:25
Off on a tangent again folks, sorry...

chimbu chuckles wrote: "Aileron rolls being a tad harder to **** up at low level twould seem the logical choice for a young fighter tyro in a moment of relieved exuberance too"

I've heard the word 'tyro' a few times before, but have no idea about the origins of the word. Any ideas...?

henry crun
12th Apr 2005, 11:37
My dictionary say it is from the latin Tiro, later changed to Tyro, ( with squiggly bits over the I, Y, and O that are not available on my keyboard) meaning a Young Soldier or Recruit.

14th Apr 2005, 00:36

"Pilots were killed by trying it too low, failing to pitch up sufficiently to avoid descending, then hitting the ground at around the 90 deg to go point...... "

I can relate to that directly. I was once asked to do an Ad Hoc ten minute performance to fill in some time at an airshow where I was just supposed to land and be a static display.
I had not practiced any routine but I thought that a roll at about 300 feet in front of the crowd would do for a start. I did not realise just how much altitude you could lose doing that and very large amounts of rudder and forward stick was enough to get me out of it but my Nav and I were pretty ashen faced for a while afterwards. It was in a CF-100 which did not have that much of a rate of roll.

14th Apr 2005, 06:11
A low level roll in a Clunk must have surprised the crowd somewhat!

Watching my old RAFC Flt Cdr Dave Curry in the BoB Hurricane, even though he pitched up quite noticeably at the start of the manoeuvre, you can see a significant rate of descent building up as he concluded it....

14th Apr 2005, 09:17
And a labrabor looking up wistfully helps.

Easy to achieve, hold a sausage in one hand & therefore carry out a sausage roll.

Yea, I know....

14th Apr 2005, 10:04
Gainesy, there is definitely a future for your writing gags for Radio Four comedy...!:p

14th Apr 2005, 12:01
Whereas nearly wiping yourself out flying the silly manoeuvre and thereby causing involuntary defecation would be........

Ta da.....

.....a Toilet Roll

I thang yo'

Onan the Clumsy
14th Apr 2005, 14:11
I think the tradition was started by German pilots in the First World War. They called it...

...The Kaiser Roll

British pilots then adopted and perfected it. In fact they made it such a smooth maneuver they renamed it The Buttered Roll

I should have stopped shouldn't I?

Peter Barron
14th Apr 2005, 17:14
No, I think you will find that it wasn't the Germans that started the roll, it was in fact


The Swiss Roll

Just how many Roll jokes can there be, next one please. :D

14th Apr 2005, 17:47
Noo - ssssssssshhhnot posshible!

We Dutch invented it - the Dutch Roll!

14th Apr 2005, 18:02
Followed by a muffled Drum Roll.

14th Apr 2005, 18:21
And if anyone is really herring a bad day and undercooks it, you might need a rollmop...

Peter Barron
14th Apr 2005, 19:17

From the first line of your last post I think we have been at the beer again haven't we, I bet you have a big barrel of it.

There you go.

Barrel Roll.

Yes, I know, I should get out more

14th Apr 2005, 21:21
To me all these jokes sound very hammed up for ...........

A Ham roll:8

(Just goes to show, you never know where a thread will go::hmm:

15th Apr 2005, 07:39
Allo Allo! it vas of cuss, I shall say zis only vonce, ze Flick Roll, after zat master of torture Herr Flick of zer Gestapo...

Good moaning

15th Apr 2005, 08:09
They get worse - but they are all VeryD Roll

15th Apr 2005, 08:17
Dredging for it... is Straight and Level known as a Bacon roll...?

Peter Barron
15th Apr 2005, 09:16

I don't know if the bacon roll is correct or not, not sure, it might be, then again it might not, but it very well could be, or then again, just can't seem to make my mind up

Oh I've done it again.

Hesitation Roll.


15th Apr 2005, 10:11
My Victory Rolls must have been a further developmeny of those perfomed during WW2.

A medium high speed run over the airfield at 2 - 500 ft AGL - slight pull up and then an aileron roll through 180 degrees to inverted - slight pause - then reverse the roll back through 180 degrees to right side up followed by a lazy immelman on to down wind for landing.

The roll reversal signified in particular that it was a victory roll and not just another spectacle.

15th Apr 2005, 12:13
PB: I have four points to make about your hesitations, but undoubtedly BEagle or Milt could go further and make eight or even sixteen...!

Milt: I take it that that you didn't do that in the Vulcan...!

15th Apr 2005, 12:45
If the pilot's a pr*ck is it a jelly roll?

Damn difficult in a balloon.

15th Apr 2005, 12:46
Was tempted to do it in Vulcan XA892 after a successful seperation of the first dummy Big Boy but there was too much loose stuff to contemplate any negative g and I didn't know whether the closed circuit TV installation was secure enough.

19th Apr 2005, 18:22
Beegs, your statement that "we never even taught them in the RAF" is incorrect.

The current Tucano Training Manual includes aileron rolls as an aerobatic manouvre. In the past we certainly taught them on JPs and on my UAS on the Bulldog, very useful as items to keep the aircraft moving without throwing away energy in an aeros display.

19th Apr 2005, 20:09
Slow rolls, hesitation rolls, aileron turns perhaps. But no, we did not teach 'aileron rolls' on the 'Dog and neither was I taught such a gash manoeuvre on the JP. Twinkle rolls on the Gnat were taught, however.

20th Apr 2005, 06:26
Count your chickens before you do an .......egg roll.

Peter Barron
20th Apr 2005, 07:08
Just how many different Rolls can you have.

Dosn't matter anyway, because I drive a BENTLEY.

Sorry about that one

20th Apr 2005, 10:03
Doesn't Milt realise you need to roll through 180 degrees to get to inverted? So his modified victory roll is really no troll ...
As for the lazy Immelmann, you'd end up downwind very high!

20th Apr 2005, 14:56
As someone who has trapped on both the JP and the Bulldog, believe me Beagle, aileron rolls were taught on both aircraft. I know fashions change and obviously the UAS you were on didn't teach them at the time, others certainly have done.

Anyway, why "gash"? As stated earlier, the aileron roll is in the Tucano Training Manual and is taught, it's assuredly not gash.

20th Apr 2005, 15:56
So what does it consist of then?

20th Apr 2005, 17:39
AP129 refers, or did - and if you've got something like a Gnat with the fuses removed, by all means give it a different name --

Tim Mills
21st Apr 2005, 05:34
I thought a victory roll was done to indicate that the chap doing it had scored a victory in combat, and as such, I was never in the position to do a proper one, aileron, slow, hesitation, or whatever!

But that didn't stop me enjoying myself on occasions such as BofB displays, AOC inspections, and the like in the trusty Vamp T11. Lots of knots, appear from behind the spectators, pull up for a vertical four point roll, pull gently over the top, airbrakes out and throttle off into vertical down four point before the normal slow rolls, eight point rolls etc joined together with Derry turns and so on, great fun.

But never, to my knowlege, an aileron roll. I thought that if the nose was raised a bit, and aileron applied till the 360 degrees was completed, the aeroplane would do it itself. As Beags asks, what is taught in the Tucano? I must have done them in Chimunks, but that is how it seemed to me.

henry crun
21st Apr 2005, 08:20
I think Beagle is right, there was stuff all finesse about it.

Pull the nose up a bit, bang the aileron over and wait for it horizon to appear the right way up.

24th Apr 2005, 13:53
a Gnat with the fuses removed,

Oooh, that's very naughty.

But replacing "S" fuse with "U/S" fuse was not. :)

Twas the idea of Lee Jones(?) first Yellowjacks leader.

24th Apr 2005, 15:51
Henry, I agree, there's certainly no finesse about an aileron roll, whatever the rate of roll of that aircraft.

However, the original statement was that it has not been taught by the RAF; this has now been shown to be inaccurate as it is still taught on the Tucano. Surely, an acknowledgment of that would not come amiss rather than BEagles somewhat petulant post of a few days ago?

24th Apr 2005, 17:42

If it's really taught on the Tincano, then tell us what it is supposed to be all about. Pitch up, apply full aileron and wait for the world to reappear the right way up? Is that really it?

Perhaps RAF training is now so dumbed-down that such a yug, shove, wait thing is now considered to be a legitimate aerobatic manoeuvre?

24th Apr 2005, 20:53
With all due respect, I have found the aileron roll to be quite the best confidence builder for the student in the very basic stage of teaching aerobatics. So there...........!!!!
Trapper 69

Algernon Lacey
24th Apr 2005, 23:36
All fascinating stuff on the rolls, so I thought I'd just have a quick look at the roll at the begining of the BoB. I've just got a copy of the remastered version.

Am I seeing things? when our hero (who did the roll) lands the Hurricane coded H and jumps from his cockpit onto the wing, there appears to be a goat behind him in the cockpit!

please tell me I'm mistaken!!

Onan the Clumsy
25th Apr 2005, 00:37
If there was a goat involved, it probably wasn't a roll at all. Maybe baklava.

25th Apr 2005, 07:01
Algy, it was probably his nanny....

Now, do I sense the first ever PPRuNe aerobatic contest to see who teaches/flies the best rolls...? (Would that be a Duel Roll?)

Gentlemen, choose you weapons!

25th Apr 2005, 09:05
"I have found the aileron roll to be quite the best confidence builder for the student in the very basic stage of teaching aerobatics."

Trapper - I'll concede that yes, the so-called aileron roll is a good way of getting very basic aspirant aerobatic pilots used to seeing the world in odd positions without the discomfort of prolonged negative g or the relatively high g loads needed to pull up for a loop. Pitch up, check gently, full aileron and wait, then recover to normal flight when the world reappears in the more normal location....

But that's about all. It is hardly a precise manoeuvre, in my view.

We always started with the loop, then the barrel roll, then the slow roll. After that the stall turn and then the roll-off-the-top. When those 'basic 5' had been mastered reasonably well, we started to link the together and to introduce variations such as horizontal and cuban eights, hesitation rolls, noddy stall turns etc...

Aileron turns in the vertical, perhaps. But no 'aileron rolls'....

PPRuNe Pop
25th Apr 2005, 09:35
We always started with the loop, then the barrel roll, then the slow roll. After that the stall turn and then the roll-off-the-top. When those 'basic 5' had been mastered reasonably well, we started to link the together and to introduce variations such as horizontal and cuban eights, hesitation rolls, noddy stall turns etc...

Agree with that, just about spot on BEags.

The aileron roll was never allowed in competitions but the aileron turn was, to change direction but not a manouvre in its own right.

But as said the aileron roll was useful as a confidence builder, especially one with a 'cough.'

Tim Mills
26th Apr 2005, 07:42
In June 68 during the making of the BofB film, Connie Edwards and I gave a little display at Debden for their open day, he in a Bouchon, me in a Spit Mk2. I think all we did was a gentle low level tailchase over the aerodrome, but no doubt it included the odd aileron roll, with wing overs at each end. I don't think any vertical manoevres were included, though it is a day or two ago now, and I can't really remember. He would have been leading, with me on his tail, since this was for a British audience. We had to cut it a bit short because my very old Merlin began to overheat!

I'm really making the point that we didn't try and do skilfull slow rolls, with negative G and all, because the occasion did not demand it. Neither, I would suggest, would the average victory roll have been.

Incidentally, I don't recall any goats in cockpits, and if I did I'm not naming names!

26th Apr 2005, 09:55
It is interesting how such a simple manoeuvre as the aileron roll has generated so much debate! I would like to continue with Trapper 69's point about using the aileron roll as a building block when teaching aerobatics. Rolling with full aileron is used commonly in manoeuvres on a 45 or vertical up or down line, but it is easier to teach the basics first on a horizontal line. Good rudder co-ordination is needed to prevent yaw and the roll needs to be stopped crisply at the desired point. This is much easier to teach when level. One of the contentious points regarding whether it is worth teaching in aircraft such as the Bulldog is that full aileron roll performance is so poor that it is difficult to maintain level as either you need to pitch the nose up so far when you start the roll that you climb or you need an excessive push when inverted or a combination of both. Therefore, a slow roll (using top rudder to maintain level) is a better technique for a stand alone manoeuvre in such aircraft.

As for the usefulness of an aileron roll, during display flying in a low speed aircraft it is very useful for repositioning into wind as the only alternative is to fly straight and level! Also, in high performance aircraft it demonstrates the roll performance very well and can be quite a spectacular manoeuvre, especially if multiple rolls are permitted. However, it is not always straightforward to perform. If you have a high steady state roll rate and poor roll damping it requires a lot of practise to stop exactly wings level, especially if the lateral centring characteristics of the stick are poor making it hard to select neutral aileron quickly. Also, if the directional stability is weak, when you stop the roll there will be a lot of sideslip so that the aircraft finishes the roll going sideways or even "snaking" if Dutch roll damping is low; this looks very untidy. The Buccaneer was one such aircraft, and to make a clean exit from a full stick aileron roll I would start to progressively reduce the aileron input after 270 degrees of roll. This allowed the sideslip to reduce progressively.

Back to the "Victory" roll. Most WWII fighters had relatively poor roll performance making level aileron rolls difficult. To perform a level slow roll safely (whilst the engine rich cut if you did not have a fuel injected engine!) required a sensible height. Therefore, if attempting to demonstrate a celebratory manoeuvre, what looks more spectacular, a climbing roll entered from 30 feet (or lower) or a level roll at 300 ft? Today, in warbird displays aileron rolls are generally flown on a climbing line without pushing so as to maintain oil pressure (engine wear considerations), prevent a rich cut (spectator cardiac arrest considerations), and be safe when little practise is available.

PPRuNe Pop
26th Apr 2005, 11:04
Bad wx today? ;)

I could almost close the thread on that very descriptive note - but I won't. It is indeed interesting how much comment the subject has gained. It is also good to have experienced comments so that our younger members, who are venturing into aeros, have the priviledge of getting the best advice that is available - dare I suggest anywhere!

I especially like the points about wings level which is an aspect that needed good judgement and control in pitch and yaw. I was lucky enough to have my rough edges smoothed out by Neil Williams, Pete Jarvis and Carl Schofield and the aileron roll was a good place to start for all rolls. The 'cough' on the Tiger and the Stampe (if it didn't have the inverted system) was always disconcerting, and took a bit a getting used to, but that is what training is for.

I remember one display pilot who flew the B4 and the Victa Airtourer, both of which were without an inverted system, and on one occasion on the IOW the Airtourer lost a lot of height and led to massive intakes of breath. I think I led them! But, it amply demonstrates that starting a full aileron roll without the correct height, and raising the nose first, is a recipe for a disaster, for you will almost certainly head earthwards otherwise. It has happened a few times. :O

26th Apr 2005, 12:18
Fascinating stuff, even to a non pilot such as I.

While in this area of the performance envelope, I've read and been told that what is today known as the 'Immelman turn' would have been impossible in a Fokker Eindekker.

Sadly, for such an significant type in the history of air warfare, there's not been a Fokker E-1 flying (AFAIK) in living memory. The PPS replica was quickly fitted with ailerons, and a always had a radial rather than rotary engine, so can hardly be regarded as having original performance.

So a couple of questions. Anyone know if it is impossible and why? If so, what did Immelman actually do? And why did the name end up on the manouvre it describes?

26th Apr 2005, 12:44
Aerobatics (http://salemfc.co.uk/html/aerobatics.html)

26th Apr 2005, 13:05
If the Aeros link is to show an Immelmann I think you will find it is wrong as the manouver shown in the sequence appears to be a roll off the top.
Many think of the half Cuban as correct for the origional Immelmann but in all probability it was more of a rudder lead wing over.

PPRuNe Pop
26th Apr 2005, 13:12
Essentially it was 'invented' by Herr Immelman to give him an advantage in a fight. The first section is get sufficient speed and then a climbing half turn to a roll off the top.

This link is even better because the graphics are animated. Its performance was actually a bit dangerous when you were climbing. You will note why.


26th Apr 2005, 13:16
This is actually the same link as I posted - if you look further down though it gives a description of the origional manouver that is not a roll off the top.
another link that shows this better is
although described on the clip as a wingover the ACM site it comes from says:-
wingover.zip 292kb download. Exaggerated hi yo-yo... The original Immelman turn, not the half loop that bears the name now
My understanding was that when invented the idea was to give two attacking passes, one on the first dive and the second on the return - this would not be possible with a simple roll off the top, also as said it would be very difficult to roll off the top with the Eindecker:8

26th Apr 2005, 15:34
With appologies to the thread drifters and their undoubtedly entertaining aeros the Defacation roll was spotted beautifully performed by the private owner of a pristine beautiful black P51 at an Everglades lake Okeechobee Hick airshow event held just after the Florida Airshow at Lauderdale Exec in 1968 starring Bob Hoover who had wowed the crowd in both the P51 and Twin Shrike Commander.
The budding P51 Tyro boosted and inspired by his hero, took off and on rotation sucked up undercarriage and began his roll. Once inverted he then sagged to within inches of the ground. In front of the now breathless crowd the inverted P51 tore grass all the way to perimeter hedge where it lifted partialy over leaving a prop shaped gap in hedge and continued with rapidly dissapearing Merlin noise but no sounds of rending metal and igniting high octane.
Sound diminished into distance where a few miles away a small dot could be seen slowly climbing still inverted. At approx 5,000' fighter rapidly rolls to level flight, slow turn back, RTB, landing(s) taxii to tower.
Figure of pilot seen climbing out and hastily waddling his way to 'gents' . Reverent silence from crowd at the brilliant demo of how not to roll, how to attract a miracle, and how to demonstrate the perfect Defacation Roll.

PPRuNe Pop
26th Apr 2005, 16:13
My apologies IH, I didn't notice. You are probably correct of course. Never flew the Eindecker but the one at Rhinebeck gave a good impression of the manouvre. But in battle I go along with the fact that it is dangerous - in that you were likely to be shot down - on the way up!

And Paterbrat, that is just the effect I imagine it can have.!

26th Apr 2005, 16:15
Paterbrat, that would also known in the Everglades as the Bog Roll... a very close relative of BEagle's Toilet Roll of course.

He wasn't Canadian perchance was he...?