Go Back  Airline Pilot Central Forums > Pilot Lounge > Hangar Talk
Spinning an Airliner >

Spinning an Airliner

Hangar Talk For non-aviation-related discussion and aviation threads that don't belong elsewhere

Spinning an Airliner

Old 10-10-2006, 07:53 PM
Chief Jeppesen Updater
FlyerJosh's Avatar
Joined APC: Oct 2005
Position: Executive Transport Driver
Posts: 3,047

Large (transport) aircraft aren't required to be certified to the same standards as smaller (normal) aircraft. For some things, they have more stringent requirements (such as redundant systems), others they don't (such as spin testing). Part of it comes with the fact that these larger aircraft have much higher training requirements for flight crews.

If you're really interested, take a look at the various requirements by looking at FAR parts 23 and 25.

Part 23 covers the airworthiness and certification standards for Normal, Utility, Acrobatic, and Commuter category airplanes. Part 25 covers the requirements for Transport Category airplanes.
FlyerJosh is offline  
Old 10-10-2006, 08:53 PM
Gets Weekends Off
tomgoodman's Avatar
Joined APC: Feb 2006
Position: 767A (Ret)
Posts: 6,013
Thumbs down Maneuvers

The B-47 used to practice an immelman "toss-bomb" maneuver to escape the nuclear blast. This was discontinued due to excessive stress on the wings.

A modified AF Systems Command NKC-135 (with upper and lower longitudinal radomes mounted forward of the wing) unintentionally did a lateral departure followed by one full turn of a spin during an inflight minimum control speed test. The crew recovered from the ensuing dive, but one outboard engine had been slung off.
tomgoodman is offline  
Old 10-10-2006, 11:07 PM
No one's home
III Corps's Avatar
Joined APC: Aug 2006
Posts: 950

Originally Posted by Jakob View Post
I have once seen a video (no fake, really!!!) from an airshow where an A318 does a looping! I'll look for it and post it here. I couldn't believe what I saw but it was real. There are pictures on www.airliners.net as well. I personally didn't know that the structure was strong enough to stand something like that.
Can't loop or roll a 'bus. Flight control laws will not allow it... the video must be CGI...
III Corps is offline  
Old 10-11-2006, 06:47 AM
Gets EVERY weekend off
flynavyj's Avatar
Joined APC: Jul 2006
Position: SIC
Posts: 1,368

might have been thinking of some of the other videos (boeing products) in college i remember watching the one of the 707 doing the barrel roll...believe the president of the company told the guy something along the lines of "that was amazing...and if i ever see you do that again i'm going to kill you"
flynavyj is offline  
Old 10-11-2006, 07:13 AM
AAmerican Way for AA Pay
B757200ER's Avatar
Joined APC: Oct 2005
Position: B-737 Pilot
Posts: 1,614

Originally Posted by III Corps View Post
Can't loop or roll a 'bus. Flight control laws will not allow it... the video must be CGI...
What if you disconnect the FACs?
B757200ER is offline  
Old 10-11-2006, 12:01 PM
Gets Weekends Off
kerns bbo's Avatar
Joined APC: Oct 2006
Position: BE9,10,20
Posts: 124

The largest aircraft that I know of that was spun intentionally was the Cheyenne IV.

You can roll a bus. You have to shut down most systems putting it into a very basic model. It has been years since I sat through the 320 ground school so I dont remember the control mode that it is technically called but we used to play around with it in the sims.
kerns bbo is offline  
Old 10-11-2006, 03:06 PM
On Reserve
Joined APC: Apr 2006
Posts: 16

I believe there is a video somewhere of a 707 doing a roll over the seattle area. I think it was a test flight, again i dont remember the details, but it was very cool to see.
lil8znguy is offline  
Old 10-11-2006, 03:33 PM
Che Guevara
ToiletDuck's Avatar
Joined APC: Aug 2005
Posts: 6,363

Originally Posted by mike734 View Post
The problem with spinning a large aircraft is centrifugal force. The farther a piece of the airframe is from the center of rotation, the larger the forces on that piece. If the cockpit is 20 feet from the center of rotation, the forces on the pilots would be extreme and could make it impossible to move, let alone control the airplane. The forces on the engine pylons and tail would similarly be extreme. If a large aircraft like a 747 got in to a spin I believe it would tear itself apart.

If anyone has a video of a large aircraft recovering from a long multiple rotation spin, (not just an entry) I'd love to see it.
That is assuming the rotation of the spin would be very fast. I don't think the issue is with the rate of spin as much as it is with the excessive force on the vertical stabalizer and the angle of attach the air would strike the sweep of the wing at on the horizontal level. The length of the body blocking the air along with the wind hitting the wing at an angle might make some sort of issue. But this is all pointless chatter anyway they don't do it.
ToiletDuck is offline  
Old 10-11-2006, 04:06 PM
No one's home
III Corps's Avatar
Joined APC: Aug 2006
Posts: 950

Originally Posted by B757200ER View Post
What if you disconnect the FACs?
You would have to fail things to get into Alternate Law. No way you can get beyond 67deg roll, 30 deg pitch up, 20 nose low in Normal Law.

One of the things we did with all the 'buses in Toulouse was to do a full aft stick hard pull to find the G limits. We would hold full aft stick until the nose parked at 30 degs nose up. With the speed rolled back, hold it until the speed decayed and hit angle of attack limits which would lower the nose. As speed continued to fall off, you would wind up at (as I remember) at ALPHA Prot at which the auto-thrust would not allow you to go any slower.

In Direct Law, no envelope protection.. no bank angle or pitch limits so I guess you could roll it.

Tex Johnson is the famous 707 pilot who rolled the 707 over the Seattle Regatta in July 1955. You can see a video of the roll at

WAY back when.. I had a KC-135 in about 100deg of bank in Thailand during the Linebacker sorties but that was a LONG time ago when I was still bullet-proof. When the nose started falling through, I knew the roll was going to become a VERY high speed dive recovery.. if it was recoverable at all. I rolled out...
III Corps is offline  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:22 PM
New Hire
Joined APC: Apr 2011
Position: Retired F/E
Posts: 2
Default Spinning a Large Aircraft

The largest aircraft I know of to be spun and sucessfully recovered was a RAAF C130A (A97-207) which was unintentionally spun during a stall demonstration during a training flight. The aircraft was, fortunately, high enough for a recovery to be achieved. The aircraft was damaged structurally but was returned to service after repairs. The incident resulted in a modification to the stall practice procedure in that a minimum of 1000 "/lbs of torque was to be set on all engines prior to the stall, so as to preculde any NTS (Negative Torque System) action during the procedure.
OldFellah is offline  
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
Sir James
10-05-2006 04:57 AM
Hangar Talk
08-24-2006 01:40 AM
08-20-2006 01:58 PM
07-26-2006 10:09 AM
Hangar Talk
06-22-2006 03:02 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread