Fly the Cuban-8

Mar 07, 2012 6 Comments by

This precision aerobatic maneuver looks like a figure-S lying on its side. It consists of a 3/4 loop with a 1/2, roll as the plane flies inverted downward at a 45·degree angle, followed by another ¾ loop and another 1/2 roll during the second descending angle. It is especially impressive when performed close to the ground.

Step 1. Start the maneuver by flying at full power, straight and level, with the wind or downwind. Apply up-elevator as if you’re going to do a loop.

Step 2. Continue the loop until the plane is inverted and heading downward at a 45·degree angle. As the plane goes over the top of the loop, release elevator and reduce power; if you don’t, it will pull the plane off to one side during the roll. Be sure to keep the wings level during the loop.

Step 3. Apply aileron and roll upright. After doing the roll, let the plane continue downward until it is at the same altitude as when you started the maneuver.

Step 4. Add throttle and up-elevator to start the second half of the maneuver and perform another loop and 1/2, roll and finish the maneuver in the same way as you did the first half.

Step 5. When you exit, you should be flying in the same direction and at the same altitude as when you started.

• As you become more proficient, make the loops larger and pause for a second before the roll. Try to place each roll at the same altitude so the maneuver looks symmetrical .

• Try a reverse Cuban-S and do the roll first. Start at a safe altitude, and apply up-elevator to make the plane climb at a 45-degree angle. Roll to inverted, decrease throttle to idle and pull up-elevator until the plane completes the first part of the loop. Recover, then increase power and do the other half of the maneuver in the same way you did the first.

Fixed-Wing Flight School

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6 Responses to “Fly the Cuban-8”

  1. Thierry says:


    I would like to do this type of drawing to explain to my RC club’s studends the different figures.

    Please how do you do the drawing ?
    Do you use a specific Software ?
    Is it necessary to be a speciallist to do this type od drawing ?

    Thanks !


    • Debra Cleghorn says:

      It was created by a professional freelance illustrator. I don’t know what program he used, but I think it’s fairly complex.

  2. Ken says:

    The acrobatic world uses the Aresti System to diagram acrobatic maneuvers. Here is a link to a pretty good explanation how it works. (

    Go here ( ) Click on the training tab and you can see a video of each maneuver as it is flown and the associated diagram.

    Hope this helps.


  3. Thierry says:

    Thank you very much !
    And congratulations for your great reviews, Debra !

  4. Terry Bolin says:

    This is a fun thing to fly but it harder to do well that you think. Watch a highly polished pattern flier perform this and there is some talent involved when doing it correctly and polished..
    They use all 4 axis of the two sticks to do it well.

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