Re: Perhaps a silly question (DC-9 barrel roll)

Date:         04 Jun 97 13:03:59 
From:         don@rata.vuw.ac.nz (Don Stokes)
Organization: Victoria University of Wellington
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1997.1141@ohare.chicago.com>,
 <hasmith@acsu.buffalo.edu> wrote:
>	I was wondering if anyone might be able to help me here.  On a
>recent flight a friend and I were musing on whether a commercial jet (In
>this case it was a DC9) could handle a barrel roll. Now I know there are
>all sorts of factors to consider like at what speed, and perhaps how fast
>the roll itself was executed, but I would appreciate any input anyone
>might have.

Easily.  The important thing about a (properly executed) barrel roll is
that it maintains positive G all the way around, so you don't uncover
the fuel pumps or otherwise upset anything that would really prefer to
be held right way up.  It's also a relatively low stress maneuvre.

Examples: there was of course the famous incident where Boeing test pilot
Tex Johnston barrel-rolled the Dash-8 (707 prototype) over the Gold Cup
hydroplane races in Seatle.  In _Bravo_Two_Zero_, Andy McNab describes
how two Swissair 727s were barrel-rolled as they airlifted POWs out of
Iraq in response to the antics of the fighter escort.

Even Concorde has been barrel-rolled a few times.

Closer to home, I've heard unsubstantiated reports from friends in the
aviation community of Air NZ pilots doing aerobatics in 737s on positioning
flights.  (This was a while ago; I've got a feeling that NZ doesn't do
much in the way of non-revenue positioning these days.)

--
Don Stokes    Operations Manager    NetLink     Wellington   New Zealand
don@netlink.co.nz (work)  don@zl2tnm.gen.nz (home)  Phone +64 4 495-5052