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The Hover

Discussion in 'How To- 3D Flying and Aerobatics Flying' started by njswede, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. njswede

    njswede 150cc

    [H=1]Description of the maneuver[/H]

    A hover is performed by putting the plane at exactly 90 degrees angle of attack so that the nose points straight up. Just enough throttle is applied to keep the plane at a steady altitude. Good pilots will make the maneuver look easy, but since fixed-wing airframes are inherently unstable in a hover, constant adjustments on aileron, rudder, elevator and throttle are needed.


    [H=2]Level of difficulty[/H]

    [H=1]Performing the Maneuver[/H]

    There are several ways of entering a hover. Beginners are typically recommended to use the "Entering from [WIKI=The Harrier]Harrier[/WIKI]" method.

    [H=2]Entering from up-line[/H]
    It's possible to enter a hover from an up-line, simply by reducing throttle while using elevator and rudder to keep the plane from falling forwards/backwards or to the side. Some amount of aileron (usually right) is typically needed to keep from torque rolling. This method can be difficult, since the plane tends to flip over suddenly as it looses upwards thrust.

    [H=2]Entering from Harrier[/H]

    An easier way to enter a hover is to set the plane up in a [WIKI=The Harrier]Harrier [/WIKI] and gradually increase alpha until the fuselage is completely vertical. This method is recommended when first starting to practice the maneuver

    [H=2]Snap to Hover[/H]

    Entering a hover from a snap roll adds a nice effect to a routine if done cleanly. The pilot puts the plane in a snap roll and exists it when the nose is pointing straight up. At this point, the throttle is adjusted to maintain the hover. [TODO: Need better instructions]


    When in a hover, it is possible to move the airplane horizontally by gently tilting it to the sides or backward/forward using rudder and elevator. Care must be taken, since the airframe tends to flip over on the side when tilted.


    If the airplane has a powerful enough motor/engine, a hover can be transformed into an up-line simply by increasing throttle input.

    The easiest way to exit a hover is typically to increase throttle and give some down elevator to put the plane into straight and level flight.

    Another method is giving generous rudder input and exiting into a hammerhead. This exit is very simple to perform, but adds a nice touch to a routine.

    [H=1]Common mistakes[/H]
    • Incorrect rudder input - When first learning to hover many beginners struggle with which rudder input to give. The trick is to look at the nose and avoid the temptation to look at the tail.
    • Not enough throttle - The throttle sweet spot is very narrow and not applying enough throttle will cause the plane to want to flip over to the side or forwards/backwards.
    • Over compensating - A hover requires constant adjustments, but over-adjusting will cause the airframe to wobble and the pilot ends up chasing the plane and will eventually fall out of the hover. Especially the rudder input must be kept smooth. A high degree of exponential may help to make the inputs smoother.
    • Flying too far away or too high - A hover requires close eye contact with the airplane, so flying too high or too far away will make the maneuver a lot harder to perform. Beginners tend to want to fly high to protect their planes, but this really just makes everything harder. Instead, start practising hovers with a simple EPP foamie at low altitudes.


    The most common mistake is probably over correction. Make sure your control inputs are as small as possible.

    When making adjustments, it is sometimes beneficial to add small burst of throttle to increase the airflow over the control surfaces.

    Since the throttle "sweet spot" is very narrow, it is sometimes necessary to pulse the throttle to keep a steady altitude. Be careful not to pulse it too hard, or the plane will wobble and be difficult to control.

    Michael Wargo's hovering tutorial: [video=youtube_share;aqOEwCzR3YQ]http://youtu.be/aqOEwCzR3YQ[/video]

    [H=1]Related Maneuvers[/H]

    [wiki]The Torque Roll[/wiki]
    [wiki]The Pogo Stick[/wiki]


    Some of the content has been derived from discussions with Joe Smith.
  2. I GOT HOVERS DIALED IN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *fist pumps. ran about 8 batterys through my TH edge this evening with nothing but hovers and harriers in between hover attempts. (well tried a few blenders also) these were by far my best and most dialed in. most were between 4-6" to a couple feet off the ground and were held for quite along time. Everything in this wiki about hovering is so true and has helped me tremendously. they are alot easier practicing close up and low. eventho it seems ive picked up on some tricks pretty quick, didnt think i was gonna get hovers till alil longer down the road. next time im gonna try the snap to hover and hammers to exit.

    i was hooping and hollering so loud my wife had to come outside to see what was going on.
  3. gyro

    gyro GSN Contributor

    Congrats, that's awesome!!!!
  4. thanks G-man! I was pretty excited all evening! i was beginning to wonder if i would ever get this trick. then all of a sudden it was like everything just started to click. most manuveurs that i have tried ive been able to pull off with just alil practice but not the hover. i usually over-controlled and my throttle management was horrible on hovers.
    hopefully when i throw the plane up tomorrow everything will still click. probably will stick with it mainly for the next day or two then move to something else but since this has given me the most problems so far im sure ill be throwing it in alot in between practice'n other tricks.

    cant believe how much i enjoy flying, especially 3d. this time last year or even 6 months ago, I would have never imagined. :ecstatic:
  5. well got to fly at work again today. had to show off my new trick hehe...... today i snap'd to hover. i cant make the TH edge do really nice looking snaps(im sure its noob error) but add a hover to it and it looked pretty cool. also did KE to hover, i really like doing these also. fun fun........ i ran about 15 or so packs today with hover the main focus. played with rates, throttle curves and expo to see what i liked the best. gonna try and get some video tomorrow
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 7, 2012

  6. Is it OK to add the snap to hover directions, since it says "need better description"? How about:

    From a slow-medium speed, level upright flight, kill throttle at the same time as: Left rudder, left aileron, full up elevator ( both sticks in bottom left corners for Mode 2) then as the plane rotates through a decaying snap roll, catch the plane as it is vertical by using the throttle and remove the left snap inputs you were holding. This is totally timing and knowing the plane, as too fast an entry will overshoot and go past vertical, and too slow will not complete the snap.

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