Planning your Aerobatic Teams (VNAF)

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Planning your Aerobatic Teams (VNAF)

Post by VNAF ONE » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:34 am

Some of you out there can sometimes easily get stumped when thinking of what and how you're going to organize a formation aerobatic flight team. There can sometimes be a thousand things to think about. Here are some tips to help narrow things down for you and also to help you remember what you want most importantly. Also some important things to keep in mind while forming your team. Good luck to you all!

Choose Your Style
I tend to use this system and have decided it should be something we all use when planning a team. What do you and also importantly what does your team want to see? Try this to help you all decide so that you have a straight track you can follow. Remember this is not meant to keep you from being creative but to help you with keeping organized. Being creative is by far the most important part of it all.


This style is suggested especially if you're making your first formation flight team and are getting used to the way things work. It will be the easiest to coordinate and plan out. Basically this style sticks to more formation maneuvers and consists of just a few solo type things. This may but does not have to mean sticking to less maneuverable aircraft and trainers such as T-34's and L-39's. Good examples of this would be real life teams such as Lima Lima Flight Team, Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, Patrouille De France, South Korean Air Force Golden Knights, or CAF Snowbirds.


This style of team would be considered a headliner to any show simply because of its balance between exciting and graceful. This style incorporates formation maneuvers as well as solo or small formation ideas. This could be any size of a team up to 9 aircraft. This style can be an upgrade from a beginner team or can be a start by experienced players in formation or in aerobatics. This will be used by those who want to really get something out of their display. This style leaves much to be desired by air show crowds and needs everything from narration to music to make it happen correctly. Good real life examples of this are the US Navy Blue Angels, US Air Force Thunderbirds, RAF Red Arrows, etc.


This style tends to be where VNAF likes to hang out when not being moderate. Using this style means that you want your display to be the absolute adrenaline rush of the show. You want to buzz your crowd as much as possible with full deflection maneuvers, breaks, and crosses. You want to show your utmost talent and team skill using this style. This will most likely stick to 2 to 4 ship teams due to difficult coordination. Aircraft for this may be ideal to anything more maneuverable such as the F-16 or Extra 300S. Real life examples of this would be the Red Eagles, Firebirds, and Team Oracle.

Setting Up Your Team
This may be the easiest part of the process all together. You need to decide how many aircraft you want to have on your team, what it will be a part of, and who will help you throughout the way. The number of aircraft on your team may depend on your style. If you're going with Simple or Moderate, you may want to have 3 or more aircraft. If you want an Extreme adrenaline performance you may want 3 or less aircraft. When making this decision consider how much help you have setting up and running your team. Is it just you or do you have the help of a friend or expert. If it's just you, you may want to stay a bit small to start with.

Also think about where your team will come from. Is your team meant to be a part of any squad such as VNAF, VFA-49, FAVA, 323rd? This may affect the type of aircraft your team flies. Being from a military squad you may be limited to what your squad is meant to fly. Don't choose an F-22 if your squad likes to stick to naval aviation. If you are from a civilian squad you may want to use something more civilian such as extras and pitts. If your squad is somewhat in the middle then you may have a free range. If you're not planning to be a part of any squad in particular, you may want to create some sort of background for you team so that there's a history to it. If it's after a real life group you're in luck but MAKE SURE PEOPLE KNOW THE DIFFERENCE between your team and the real life one. Be sure that people know your affiliation and if you have anything to do with the real team or not. This can save your team in the future.

Before you start try to have some help. Get an expert or friend in the community to help you with your team. Everyone here has at least one person they know who can help them with publicity and ensure that they are doing everything right with advertising and setup. This can also be your lifeline. If something goes wrong friends can sometimes be there to help. It's always better to have help or advice with what you're doing than to do it all alone. Have someone there to go to before you post or someone who can watch what you do and help you improve it at any time. This is most likely where an expert can come in. Even if you think something is awesome and can get no better, it's better to have a second eye on it.

Choose Your Design
Trying to find what design to paint your aircraft and to use to represent your team can be very difficult. Think about where your team is coming from and what their history is. If it's a squad, your team should represent your squad's colors and emblems. If it's made up, look to your history that you've setup and see if that helps. Real life mockups should definitely use similar schemes to the real thing with the exceptions that keep the difference between real and virtual. If you're no repainter take a shot at it and see how you do. If it's something that you find yourself simply incapable of doing ask a friend who is a repainter or someone who's willing to do it for you. Make sure that you find some way to thank them because repainting is not easy. Also be sure that the aircraft your using is available somewhere such as birdfarm or GAC. If you want to use an aircraft that doesn't exist in YS Flight you may want to save yourself the trouble and find something else.

Establishing Your Team
The most important part of any formation aerobatic team is of course the team. You want to make sure that you have the right people in the right places. If you find that one of your members is better at the right side than the left or slot or whatever, put them where they can be the best at. You want to make sure that your pilots are in the best places of performance possible. This keeps the team smooth and you all learn with lots of practice. Also make sure that you as a leader are being easy on your team and make sure that they have what they need first. The team comes first. Anything else is second.

Finalizing Your New Team
Now that your new team is setup and ready to take to the skies, you want to make sure that you have everything you need. Remember you need the right narration and music to get the best out of your display. If it's Extreme, you want extreme narration and extreme music. If it's Simple, you want good narration (not too fast, not too slow) and good music that fits. When you make your team public, you want everyone to know what it's about and what makes your team unique. You want everyone to know that you guys are also ready to book your first show. When the opportunity arises, get into the next lineup so that everyone can see what you've got. If you think you have what it takes and can do it right, you may also create a show of your own. Remember your show will represent the community as a whole so it has to be right. Good luck to all of you fellow squad leaders or team leaders. Have fun most of all!

If you have read this and find it helpful in any way and have started a team by information here, please let me know as I would like to see more successful teams in YS. Anyone is welcome to reply of course but I do want to see new teams here too so let me know what your team is. Don't forget to tell me what STYLE ;) .
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Re: Planning your Aerobatic Teams

Post by Killer » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:01 pm

Very well presented information here, I'd reccomend this to anyone wanting to start a demonstration team.
CVW-171st - VFA-165, The Highest Pilot in YSFlight.
Formerly known as Killerdeck/KD

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