Aerobatics is a type of flying in which pilots demonstrate their skill by performing exotic midair maneuvers, including loops, rolls, spins, abrupt changes of direction and even flying straight up like a rocket.
Aerobatics is practically as old as flying itself, and the first aerobatic maneuver -- a 360-degree banked turn -- actually was performed by the Wright brothers in 1904.
Since the late 1920s, when the first international aerobatics competition was held in Zurich, aerobatics gradually evolved into a sport with rules and standards.
Standard aerobatics maneuvers include Chandelles, dives, loops, rolls, wingovers, stall turns and Cuban eights.
To keep from crashing, aerobatics pilots must carefully calculate and manage the amount of kinetic energy used in a maneuver.
Some aerobatics pilots are so skilled that they can fly in formation so close together that their wings appear to be touching.