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FLIGHT CONTROL SURFACES - 14014_81

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vertical stabilizer   (or   fin) and   horizontal stabilizer. These two airfoils, along with the rudder and elevators, form the tail section. For inspection and maintenance purposes, the entire tail section is considered a single unit called the  empennage. The main purpose of stabilizers is to keep the aircraft  in  straight-and-level  flight.  The  vertical stabilizer maintains the stability of he aircraft about its vertical axis (fig. 4-9). This is known as   directional stability. The vertical stabilizer usually serves as the base to which the rudder is attached. The horizontal stabilizer provides stability of the aircraft about its lateral axis. This is known as longitudinal stability. The horizontal stabilizer usually serves as the base to which the elevators are attached. On many newer, high-performance aircraft, the entire vertical and/or horizontal stabilizer is a movable airfoil. Without the movable airfoil, the flight control surfaces would lose their effectiveness at extremely high altitudes. Stabilizer construction is similar to wing construction. For greater strength, especially in the thinner airfoil sections typical of trailing edges, a honeycomb-type construction is used. Some larger carrier-type aircraft have vertical stabilizers that are folded hydraulically to aid aircraft movement aboard aircraft carriers. FLIGHT CONTROL SURFACES Flight control surfaces are hinged (movable) airfoils designed to change the attitude of the aircraft during flight. These surfaces are divided into three groups—primary, secondary, and auxiliary. Primary Group The primary group of flight control surfaces includes ailerons, elevators, and rudders. The ailerons attach to the trailing edge of the wings. They control the rolling (or banking) motion of the aircraft. This action is known as  longitudinal control. The elevators are attached to the horizontal stabilizer and control the climb or descent (pitching motion) of the aircraft. This action is known as  lateral control. The rudder is attached to the vertical stabilizer. It determines the horizontal flight (turning or yawing motion) of the aircraft. This action is known as directional control. The ailerons and elevators are operated from the cockpit by a control stick on single-engine aircraft. A yoke and wheel assembly operates the ailerons and elevators on multiengine aircraft, such as transport and 4-9 ANf0409 YAW PITCH ROLL VERTICAL AXIS LATERAL AXIS LONGITUDINAL AXIS Figure 4-9.—Axes and fundamental movements of the aircraft.



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