Loops and Part Loops

Judges must assess the shape and smoothness of all looping segments in order to arrive at a possible downgrade.


The loop is a figure from Family 7, but parts of loops occur in every other family so let's discuss the loop before going on to the other families.

By definition a loop must have a constant radius. It starts and ends in a well-defined line which, for a complete loop, will be horizontal. For a part-loop however, such lines may be in any other plane of flight and will be defined by the aircraft's attitude. As the speed changes during execution of a loop or part-loop, the angular velocity around the aircraft's lateral axis also has to change in order to keep the radius constant. When the speed decreases, for example, to half its initial rate, the angular velocity, to keep the same radius, will be reduced by half - this is a fact of physics. Thus, the angular velocity can be an aid for the Judge to gauge the radius, especially when the angular velocity in the higher part-loop is seen to be faster, as this is a clear indication that the radius is smaller. This aid becomes more important when two part-loops are separated by a line between.

Aresti pictogram shapes

In the Aresti Aerobatic Catalogue, part-loops are depicted either as round elements or as ‘corner’ angles. Note that any ‘corner’ angle drawn in the pictograms is always to be flown as a part-loop and must have a smooth, distinct and constant radius.

Round corners

For any figure having more than one internal part-loop shown as round in the catalogue, and the square cornered ones given in Family 3, all these part-loops must have the same radius. An exception however is given for all of Family 8.8 figures (double humpty bumps) for which the radius of the second half-loop is not required to match the radius of the first one.

Corner angles

For any figure having more than one internal part-loop depicted in the catalogue as corner angles, all these part-loops may have different radii, and none of them is required to match the radius of any part-loop depicted as a round element in the same figure – with the exception of:

  • Family 3 (combinations of lines) and -
  • Family 7 : 7.4.3.x to 7.4.6.x (whole / hesitation loops)

These figures must all keep a regular geometrical shape, and therefore their part-loops are all required to have the same radius.Note that the above guide only shows some of the affected figures - the principle however is general.