Aerobatic maneuvers are flight paths putting aircraft in unusual attitudes, in air shows, dogfights or competition aerobatics. Aerobatics can be performed by a single aircraft or in formation with several others. Nearly all aircraft are capable of performing aerobatics maneuvers of some kind, although it may not be legal or safe to do so in certain aircraft.
Aerobatics consist of five basic maneuvers: Lines (both horizontal and vertical), loops, rolls, spins, and hammerheads. Most aerobatic figures are composites of these basic maneuvers with rolls superimposed. A loop is when the pilot pulls the plane up into the vertical, continues around until he is heading back in the same direction, like making a 360 degree turn, except it is in the vertical plane instead of the horizontal. The pilot will be inverted (upside down) at the top of the loop. A loop can also be performed by rolling inverted and making the same maneuver but diving towards the ground. It can be visualized as making a loop of ribbon, hence the name it is given (there is an animation depicting a loop on the bottom of this page).