Immelmann Turn



Max Immelman Biography


His initial experiences as an airman were not glamorous however, operating as a reconnaissance pilot near Lille in France.  In short order however Immelmann established a reputation as an effective fighter pilot: in Germany (and France, but unlike Britain) successful fighter pilots gained wide public renown and acclaim.




Thus the ‘Eagle of Lille’ (as German newspapers dubbed him) achieved promotion to First Lieutenant in September 1915.  He was responsible for developing a dogfight maneuver whose name – the Immelmann Turn – remains to this day, comprised of a simultaneous loop and roll design to allow him to dive back at a pursuing airman.  It became standard practice during the remainder of the war.



With seventeen (some attribute just fifteen) ‘kills’ to his name – and the Pour le Merite awarded by the Kaiser on 12 January 1916 – Immelmann was fatally shot down by British pilot George McCubbin on 18 June 1916 near Lens.



Post C


The maneuver in aerial fight invented by Max Immelmann with the reason is to gain higher altitude while making the turn into opposite direction. This turn can be used to avoid head to head attack as it was used to surprise enemy by flying cross each other and then turning back with this maneuver to attack it from more advantaged altitude.


Post D


However the turn had already fallen somewhat into disfavor as it became obvious that the zooming aircraft presented an easy target as it hung nearly motionless at the top of the maneuver.  This is a bit crack when we fly Immelmann with RC plane since we do not cut the throttle during the turn point so the speed is mainly constant.


How to make this maneuver in RC plane


Flying the plane straight on level flight then starts with 90 degree half-roll climb up using up-elevator until the plane head back to the opposite direction, just keep the plane in straight and level flight though upside down.  Half-turn the plane to a normal flying position using aileron, you will heading opposite to the first direction but gaining higher altitude. This picture shows how the Immelman turn is done.


Post F


Immelman turn is not difficult to carry out, and with some practice it may become your favorite turn in most occasions. In F3A aerial competition there is also double immelman maneuver included in the rules this is the proof of how popular this turning style is widely accepted. If you can make Immelman turn there are some aerobatic maneuvers that begin with similar starting position and fun to do such as hammer head and stall turn, for instance.









6 thoughts on “Immelmann Turn

  1. Hey Tinnakon, Great article. I learned something new today. Cool video also. I’ve always wanted an RC Plane but was afraid i would only be able to fly it once.

  2. Tinnakon,
    I like how you are teaching maneuvers for RC Planes. Most people just want to sell you the plane and let you go. Keep up this kind of articles and you will go far. How about the weave from WW11.

    • Hello John nice to have you here please drop by once in a while and you will discover a lot of new information which will be a pleasure for your weekend hobby. Thanks

  3. Hi Tinnakon,
    Thanks for a very informative and comprehensive post. Keep them coming, book marked you website.
    Brings back memories to the late 1960’s when I build my first RC Model plane and a Health Kit 4 channel radio. WOW! that was an experience.
    Continue RC Model plane flying until I changed over to RC cars in 1970. However I still attempt to fly every now and then, but now with RC sailplanes.

    • Thank you very much Joe it is fantastic to have old folk coming here and let me have your story. I hope you enjoy other article that will be in your area of interest.

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