The Immelmann carries the name of the pilot credited with its invention: Max Immelmann, a German WW I flyer. Although there is some question whether aircraft of his era had the horsepower and agility needed to actually perform the maneuver as a perfect half loop, it is certain that some version of this unique method of getting turned around found merit with early fighter pilots.

Immelmanns belong in the "interrupted loop" series, along with Half Cubans, Cuban Eights and 3/4 loops. They are commonly used for course reversal and serve as an quick way to lose speed prior to performing snap rolls, spins, and other slower speed figures.

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