VTPR means “Voltige Très Près du Relief” in French and “aerobatics very close to the ground” in English. It is a style of aerobatic slope glider flying originating in France. VTPR aerobatics are flown at extremely low altitude and touching the tail, wing or belly of the glider on the ground are signature moves of the flying style.
VTPR is one of the most challenging types of slope aerobatics. It requires excellent piloting skills as well as a specialized, lightweight glider with a rudder and equal performance whether upright or inverted.
Worldwide, VTPR pilots also participate in motorized R/C aerobatics, with some extremely talented pilots representing their countries in international F3A competition. The best American VTPR pilots tend to have backgrounds in surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding and similar creative, trick-oriented sports, as well as having a solid understanding of and proficiency in aerobatic fundamentals
Here’s a collection of great VTPR videos collected from all over the internet. Feel free to contact me if you’d like your VTPR video featured here!
Stéphane “pgts” Combet of France has maidened his very cool SnowflaK project – an all-wood aerobatics glider that combines the classic looks of the Lunak with all-wood construction, Stéphane’s 2PES (two point exponential system) elevator control, multiple GoPro mounting positions and even a movable CG (whoohoo!). He has been working on the plane for some time, and it’s wonderful to see it take flight. It flies beautifully and looks like it’s going to be an excellent aerobatics and VTPR machine. Congratulations Stéphane!!
My first effort at trying a more tutorial-style video production, using the PicaSim R/C flight simulator to more clearly illustrate some of the basic figures of R/C slope aerobatics flying, as well as talk about the differences between a traditional aileron/elevator slope plane versus a true aerobatics glider.
PicaSim does a great job modelling flight dynamics for Ultrabatics and VTPR, and the Le Fish flight model included is pretty darn good (I’ve given Danny loads of feedback on it ). It also allows me to easily show the stick inputs I’m giving as I fly the figures.
I hope this is helpful for those just getting started in slope aerobatics. Let me know if you’d like to see more!
Stéphane “pgts” Combet is hard at work on another very cool project. This one is named SNOWFLAK and it is his take on an all-wood semi-scale Lunak designed for hardcore aerobatics. It is meant to have “oldschool aerobatic glider style, VTPR spirit, Ultrabatic spirit, nice onboard vids” (there’s a built-in provision for a GoPro). Should be a super cool project – he’s already well along, should fly later this Spring. Cool!
Inspired by a great question I received from rockyabp in the How to build a Swiss Fish thread, I wrote an article addressing the concepts of “pattern” and “flow” in the context of improvisation and choreography in slope aerobatics. Slope aerobatics involves both, and telling the two things apart is not always so easy – even for the pilot. It’s an interesting subject – check out the article here:
A super cool new VTPR video from Brittany, featuring Eric Poulain and Rémi Le Besque flying their Excaliburs at the classic Breton sites, Ménez-Hom and Lestrevet. Super clean flying as usual, love these guys – they are huge inspirations for all of us!!
Here’s a cool uncut video of Benny Wachtelaer’s own-design, all-wood Kona 180 getting put through its paces. It’s a great looking and great flying aerobat! You can read more about the Kona 180 here on Benny’s website.
Posted on November 6, 2012 by surfimp under Glider News.
Eric “the Frenchie” Arnaud, a Frenchman living in South Africa, has been kind enough to share the GMFC CNC cutting files he used to create his Le Fish based on the open source Le Fish plan!
He’s made some relatively minor deviations from the plan to suit his taste (something I encourage all builders to do – things don’t move forward unless we evaluate new ideas!), but the general outlines keep very close to the plan. The biggest change is to the vertical stabilizer and rudder shape, but a scratchbuilder could easily modify that to suit his/her personal preferences.
In Eric’s words: “Attached are all the GMFC cutting files, people will have to adjust according to their tables ( cutting speeds and heat)… I have made minor mods for myself but all are within the original design. Attached is also the pics of the files in GMFC for quick ref as well as photos of a finished kit from my machine.”
This is a big assistance to scratchbuilders everywhere – thank you Eric!!
Wow, what a bunch of great French aerobatics videos coming out lately! Here are FOUR new videos showing the inimitable Rémi Le Besque and Eric Poulain flying in Britanny at the famous Ménez-Hom and Lestrevet slopes. And of course the glider they are flying is the Excalibur 2, one of the most beloved French VTPR designs! Enjoy!!