02-Le Fish inverted flip

Surfimp doing an inverted flip with Le Fish Light.

Elevator Flips are fun and easy to do with the right setup and technique

The SetupEdit

  1. Use a Mad Stab with 90° of rotation up and down.
  2. Set the CG to neutral.
  3. A "High" votage battery will yield faster servo movement and a a result more "pop" to your flips. Check to see if you servo and receiver can take the extra voltage. Use a 5-cell AAA NiMh or small two cell LiFe. Foks have also used two cell LiPo packs; but be aware of their potential fire danger.
  4. Use flapperons-on-the-stick (AKA 4th axis). Add full up or down flapperons to "energize" the flip. Experiment with both directions to see which works best for your aircraft. BPLR (Madslide) and Surfimp (Le Fish Light) use full down (camber) for an upright flip... pro-flapperon). Dawson (Le Fish Light) likes full up (reflex)... anti-flapperon.

Flip TechniqueEdit

Le Fish Light Rips the Mini-Bowl, Mormon Lake Overlook, AZ 06-25-13

Le Fish Light Rips the Mini-Bowl, Mormon Lake Overlook, AZ 06-25-13

Recent Flip Video by Dawson Henderson

Speed is your friend when doing flips... especially multi-flips.

The easiest flips are into the wind. They look very cool when done cross wind... as per flying normal passes. If you have enough room you can do them downwind.

The Basic "Back" Flip

To do a single upright/back flip; build up some speed by going into a dive (or do a couple pumps); level out and then sharply pull back on the elevator to initiate the flip. Hold the full up elevator as the glider flips around. Neutralize the elevator at around 3/4 flip so you stop your rotation at level flight. The exact time of neutralizatoin will depend on your glider and flip speed. 

Inverted and Forward Flips

To do an inverted flip enter the maneuver with speed from a level inverted line. Push full elevator to initiate the flip and release the elevator around 3/4 flip so you end up on an inverted and level line. The forward flip used the same elevator input but starts from upright (instead of inverted) level flight. This maneuver is called a "Waterfall" in the power world.


To do a multi flip, hold the elevator through one or more rotations. The more speed you carry the easier it is to do multi-flips. For some gliders once they do three or more rotations they seem to build up a momentum and will continue to do flips until you run out of altitude.

Using the 4th Axis (Flapperons on the thottle stick) to Tighten Flips

As per the #4 setup point, you can tighten up your rotations by adding full camber/reflex to the flapperons via the 4th axis (throttle stick). Add full flapperon as you pull/push full "Mad" elevator. Experiment with pro and anti flapperons to see what works best for your glider.