today that changed - somewhat anyway. i've been rereading the chapters on basic aerodynamics from the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (and just realizing that I have an older edition with not such nice graphics as those up there now!) in preparation for my CFI certification looming this winter. As I was doing my turns in the 8's all the stuff I have been reading was fresh in my mind, particularly lift, and it's changes in banks to wings level and the changing airspeed throughout the maneuver. I still find myself wanting to kick the plane over to the 180 degree point, and instead of doing so, find myself leaning in my seat at the end! anyway, i managed to figure out the magic number for Arrow N813ND : 19" of manifold pressure and 2400 RPM. I started with 18" and ended up 200 feet low, but the maneuver was nice and smooth. 19" did the trick! In addition, this guy's method of doing them has simplified the maneuver 10-fold. I've paraphrased the import part below, but give the whole page a read through. there's some good stuff on there:
All in all the first 90 degrees of the maneuver required very little control inputs on my part. After rolling into the initial 5 degrees of bank all I needed to do was to control the pitch attitude with back pressure on the yoke while keeping the ailerons and rudders neutral and the airplane basically did the rest for me.
As I allowed the airplane to return to a level pitch attitude at the 90-degree point and relatively close to the clean configuration stall speed the nose of the airplane sliced sideways through the horizon and into a descending pitch attitude without any significant intervention on the flight controls by me.
The second half of the 180-degree turn was somewhat more challenging as I was required to use the controls more actively to reduce the bank angle and controlling the pitch attitude throughout the descending portion of the turn.
and to make the flight sweeter - my chandelles were ending with some nice wing buffets - but no stall. I think I might just be a commercial pilot afterall.
250-260 hours and counting...