I've flown as a passenger in small aircraft and helicopters enough times to understand how precarious flight actually is. So it's utterly amazing to me that some pilots have the nerves and skill to attempt hair-raising stunts in the air. It was interesting to learn about the long history of stunt flying and that it dates back practically to the invention of the airplane itself. Those early aerobatics pioneers really had to have a lot of courage, since the aircraft they flew were far less sophisticated than the planes used for stunts today. It was also fascinating to learn that what appears to be random craziness in the air actually is an elaborately structured sport, with rules and standard maneuvers.
- "Aerobatics Courses." Sunriseaviation.com. (June 23, 2010) http://www.sunriseaviation.com/aerobatic-courses.html#basic
- "Aerobatic Manuevers." Fulldeflection.com. (June 23, 2010) http://www.fulldeflection.com/index.php/manoeuverscatalogue/34-aerofab1/46-manoeuvers
- Scott, Phil. "Stupid Plane Tricks." Air & Space Smithsonian. Nov. 1, 2001. (June 23, 2010) http://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today/stupid-plane-tricks.html?c=y&page=1
- Sheffield, Richard G. "The History of Aerobatics." Flightsimbooks.com. (June 23, 2010) http://www.flightsimbooks.com/jfs2/chapter1.php
- Szurovy, Geza and Goulian, Mike. "Basic Aerobatics." McGraw-Hill Professional. 1994. (July 23, 2010) http://books.google.com/books?id=kc3aoLOiGVkC&dq=aerobatics&source=gbs_navlinks_s