Tailspin - Spin Kit

Spin Kit

To make some sailplanes spin easily for training purposes or demonstrations a spin kit is available from the manufacturer.

Many training aircraft may appear to be resistant to entering a spin even though some are intentionally designed and certified for spins. A well-known example of an aircraft designed to spin readily is the Piper Tomahawk, which is certified for spins, though the Piper Tomahawk's spin characteristics remain controversial. Aircraft that are not certified for spins may be difficult or impossible to recover once the spin exceeds the one-turn certification standard.

Although it has been removed from most flight test syllabuses, there are some countries that still require flight training on spin recovery. In the U.S. spin training is required for civilian flight instructor candidates and military pilots. A spin occurs only after a stall, so the FAA emphasizes training pilots in stall recognition, prevention, and recovery as a means to reduce accidents due to unintentional stalls and/or spins.

A spin is often intimidating to the uninitiated, however many pilots trained in spin entry and recovery find that safely spinning is an interesting experience. In a spin, the occupants of the airplane will only feel reduced gravity during the entry phase and then will experience normal gravity, except that the extreme nose-down attitude will press the occupants forward against their restraint harnesses. The rapid rotation, combined with the nose-down attitude, results in a visual effect called "ground flow", and can be disorienting.

The recovery procedure from a spin requires using rudder to stop the rotation, then elevator to reduce angle of attack to stop the stall, then pulling out of the dive without exceeding the maximum permitted airspeed (VNE) or maximum G loading. The maximum G loading for a light airplane in the normal category is usually 3.8 G. For a light airplane in the acrobatic category it is usually at least 6 G.

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Spin Kit

A spin kit is a kit for a sailplane to make it spin. The kit consists of ballast weights (usually discs) applied to the tail to move the center of gravity rearward. This increases the instability of the glider, enabling it to spin.

A few sailplanes are very difficult, if not impossible, to spin under normal conditions. To make these sailplanes spin easily, for training purposes or demonstrations, a spin kit is available from the manufacturer.

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