In the barrel roll, you roll the aircraft 360 degrees about an imaginary point on the horizon that bears 45
degrees from the original heading of the aircraft. You practice it to further develop your confidence,
coordination, and sense of feel while flying the aircraft through varying attitudes and airspeeds. The barrel
roll also develops your ability to remain oriented while flying the aircraft in balanced flight through the
inverted position (Figure 11).
Complete the prestall and aerobatic
checklist prior to performing the barrel
roll. Begin the maneuver at 350 KIAS,
on altitude, with the power set to ap-
proximately 92% rpm, and lined up on a
prominent terrain feature or section line.
Select reference points that are at 45
degrees and 90 degrees off the current
aircraft heading. Smoothly bring the
nose to approximately 20 degrees nose-
high attitude while maintaining wings
level. Passing 20 degrees noseup,
initiate a smooth roll towards the 90-
degree reference point while describing
an arc around an imaginary 45-degree
reference point. The nose will be at its
highest when the aircraft is in 90 de-
grees AOB passing through 45 degrees
of the turn.
Continue at a constant rate of roll so
that the aircraft is inverted wings level
and 90 degrees off the original heading
as the nose passes down through the
horizon. Verify that your airspeed over
Figure 11: BARREL ROLL
the top is approximately 170-190 KIAS.
Continue the roll so that the nose
passes through the 45-degree
nosedown position below the imaginary 45-degree reference point with a 90-degree AOB. Maintain
constant nose movement and roll to exit the barrel roll at 350 KIAS at entry altitude and on entry heading.
As in the wingover, you will have to adjust your control inputs to maintain a constant rate of roll and pitch
as the airspeed changes during the maneuver. You will also have to visualize your lift vector location (at
the top of the aircraft) so that you can use it to achieve the maneuver parameters. If you are not achieving
90 degrees of heading change as you roll inverted, you didnt maintain enough back stick when you were
between 60 and 90 degrees AOB.