Four-Point Roll / Hesitation Roll
Many RC flyers should have seen this maneuver at least once I believe and ever wonder how to make it on your own RC plane. This awesome shot is not too difficult to carry out but to make all steps look good it needs reasonable skill for accomplishment. Real plane or RC plane the basic is the same the different is in the real plane the pilot can not see the figure roll he is performing but the RC flyers get all the pleasure on their sight. This is why one of my friends who fly real Cessna is so infatuated with RC plane and the maneuver he loves being controlled on the ground and viewed his plane in the air instead of sighting via the cockpit view.
A hesitation roll traditionally consists of a number of stopping point during the roll, but is rarely found or performed more than eight points. Sometimes we found the point roll performed within two stopping interval that are 180 degree inverted and stop then makes another 180 degree returning to upright position. A rare three-point roll has its first stop at 120 degrees a semi-inverted and then moves to partially inverted at 240 degree and stop before resuming the upright position. A nice hesitation roll needs precision timing on each alternating point including straight track and level flight path.
Four-point roll is a series of ¼ rolls. The pilot starts from level flight with safe altitude and engages his first quarter roll with knife-edge and freeze, secondly he rolls the plane inverted and freeze, thirdly he rolls the plane into opposite knife-edge and freeze, finally he rolls the aircraft back to upright position. Generally speaking this is the basic of four-point roll and how it looks like, the timing of each hesitate on each point is important for it must be equal through out the maneuver.
Performing the four-point roll in a low altitude looks fantastic in most place but practice it in a high altitude is the best idea. There is no need to train the four-point in combination at first my recommendation is to practice each step separately. In this light you need to be comfortable with straight inverted flight and the knife-edge on both sides. You will need your time practicing knife-edge in straight path with stable altitude. Once you are able to master both inverted and knife-edge flight you can now making the combination of these moves into four-point roll.
I wish you make the progress and succeed in this maneuver throughout the recommendation and remember that it is wise to practice each point roll separately before jumping to the whole shots of these series roll. Please be advised that this maneuver looks good when the hesitation of each point is within the same time interval. Each turn point must look energetic and cancel previous roll. Flying it too slow feels lack of power and less cheerful. This is not a rule but you can feel it as well as the folks around you.
I love this maneuver and I did it with my F3A plane once in a while particularly when some RC folk ask for it. When I am home I like to make my favorite maneuvers on Flight simulator including other practices that have not yet mastered. So make this move be your signature so everyone in the flying club can remember whose plane is flying. This is kind of fun among us RC flyers as it is so to speak without seeing the flyer who is flying such plane – each flyer has his own flying characteristic and you are surely identified with your own flight signature.