# II.E. Airplane Flight Controls

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1 References: FAA-H ; FAA Objectives Key Elements Elements Schedule Equipment IP s Actions SP s Actions Completion Standards The student should develop knowledge of the elements related to primary flight controls, trim control and wing flaps. 1. Primary Flight Controls Airflow and Pressure Distribution 2. Trim relieves control pressures 3. Flaps increase lift and induced drag 1. Overview 2. Primary Flight Controls 3. Trim Controls 4. Wing Flaps 1. Discuss Objectives 2. Review material 3. Development 4. Conclusion 1. White board and markers 2. References 1. Discuss lesson objectives 2. Present Lecture 3. Ask and Answer Questions 4. Assign homework 1. Participate in discussion 2. Take notes 3. Ask and respond to questions The student can explain the primary flight controls, their function and how they do what they do. The student will also understand how trim works and can more effectively use it. Finally he or she will understand the different types of flaps and their differing characteristics.

2 Instructors Notes: Introduction: Attention Learning how the flight controls work and why the inputs you make result in the corresponding changes. This is what is actually going on when you move the control surfaces, adjust trim, or use the flaps. Overview Review Objectives and Elements/Key ideas What The airplane s attitude (rotation around the 3 axes) is controlled by deflection of the primary flight controls. These are hinged, moveable surfaces attached to the trailing edge of the wings and vertical and horizontal stabilizers. When deflected these surfaces change the camber and AOA of the wing or stabilizer and thus change its lift and drag characteristics. Trim controls are used to relieve the control pressures necessary and flaps are what create a compromise between a high cruise speed and low landing speed. Why Understanding how the airplane functions and the effects each control input will have on the airplane results in a much better understanding of why and how to control the airplane. Understanding how the airplane works results in a much more proficient, better pilot. How: 1. Overview A. Chord Line An imaginary straight line drawn through an airfoil from the leading to the trailing edge B. Camber The characteristic curve of an airfoil s upper and lower surfaces i. The upper camber is more pronounced while the lower camber is relatively flat a. This causes the velocity of the airflow immediately above the wing to be higher than below ii. The more curved the upper surface, the more lift is generated 2. Primary Flight Controls A. Primary flight controls are those required to safely control an airplane during flight B. Secondary control systems improve performance characteristics or relieve excessive control forces i. Wing Flaps, and Trim Systems C. Ailerons i. Control roll about the longitudinal axis ii. Operated through steel push rods iii. How they Work a. The ailerons are interconnected, operating simultaneously in opposite directions Moving the controls right causes the right aileron to deflect upward and the left downward a The upward deflection decreases the camber resulting in decreased lift b The downward deflection increases the camber resulting in increased lift The increased lift on the left and decreased lift on the right cause the roll to the right b. The airplane turns because the banking of the wings creates horizontal lift With the wings banked, the lift has a horizontal component as well as a vertical component a The horizontal component counteracts the CF pulling the airplane straight ahead The change in relative wind pushes the vertical stabilizer around turning the airplane iv. Adverse Yaw 1

3 a. Since the downward deflected aileron produces more lift, it also produces more drag (Induced) The added drag attempts to yaw the nose in the direction of the raised wing (Adverse Yaw) b. Rudder is used to counteract The amount needed is greatest at low AS, high AOA, and with large aileron deflections v. Types of Ailerons a. Differential Ailerons (On the DA20) One aileron is raised a greater distance than the other is lowered a This produces an increased drag on the descending wing, reducing adverse yaw b. Frise-Type Ailerons When pressure is applied, the aileron being raised pivots on an offset hinge a This projects the leading edge of the aileron into the airflow and creates drag 1. This helps equalize the drag created by the lowered aileron reducing adverse yaw A slot forms so air flows smoothly over the low aileron, making it more effective at high AOA c. In both types of ailerons, adverse yaw is not eliminated and coordinated rudder is still needed D. Elevator i. Control pitch about the lateral axis ii. Operated through steel push rods iii. How It Works a. Pulling the controls backward deflects the trailing edge up This decreases the camber of the elevator and creates downward aerodynamic force The overall effect causes the tail to move down and the nose to move up (About the CG) a Strength is determined by the distance between the CG and horizontal tail surface b. Moving the controls forward deflects the trailing edge of the elevator surface down This increases the camber of the elevator and creates more lift This moves the tail upward and pitches the nose down (Also about the CG) iv. Types of Elevators a. T-Tail The elevator is above most effects of downwash from the propeller and airflow around the fuselage and wings in normal flight a Operating in this air makes for consistent control movements in most flight regimes Popular on light as well as large airplanes (removes from exhaust ) and sea planes At slow speeds, the elevator must be moved through a larger number of degrees to raise the nose a given amount as compared to a conventional tail aircraft a The conventional has the downwash from the prop assisting in raising the nose b. Stabilator A moveable horizontal surface which combines the horizontal stabilizer and the elevator When the controls are pulled back, the stabiliator s trailing edge raises, rotating the nose up Pushing forward lowers the trailing edge and pitches the nose down Antiservo tabs are incorporated on the trailing edge to decrease sensitivity a This tab moves in the same direction of the trailing edge of the stabilator b The movement of the anitservo tab causes it to be deflected into the slipstream 1. This provides a resistance without which the pilot would overcontrol the airplane E. Rudder i. Control yaw about the vertical axis ii. Operated through cables iii. How it Works a. When the rudder is deflected, a horizontal force is exerted in the opposite direction 2

4 Pushing the left pedal moves the rudder left a This alters the airflow around the vertical stabilizer creating a sideward lift moving the tail right and yawing the nose to the left b. Rudder effectiveness increases with speed Large deflections may be necessary at low speeds and small deflections at high speeds In a propeller driven airplane, any slipstream flowing over the rudder increases effectiveness iv. The primary purpose is to counteract adverse yaw and provide directional control (coordination too) 3. Trim Controls A. Trim systems are used to relieve the need to maintain constant pressure on the flight controls B. They usually consist of cockpit controls and small hinged devices attached to the trailing edge of primary control surfaces i. Minimize workload by aerodynamically assisting movement and position of the controls attached to C. Trim Tabs i. Most common installation, a single trim tab attached to the trailing edge of the elevator ii. Operation a. Operated manually through small, vertically mounted control wheel (Trim crank can be found) b. The trim tab moves in the opposite direction of the elevator surface c. Placing the trim in full nose-down moves the tab to its full up position With the tab up, into the airstream, the airflow over the tail forces the elevator down a This causes the tail to move up and results in a nose-down pitch change d. In the full nose-up position, the tab moves to its full down position Air flowing under the tail hits the tab forcing the elevator up, reducing the elevator s AOA a This causes the tail to move down and results in a nose-up pitch change D. Operating i. Establish the desired power, pitch attitude, and configuration then trim to relieve pressures ii. Any time power, pitch attitude, or configuration is changed, retrim for the new condition E. Balance Tabs i. Look and function just like trim tabs, but the balance tab is coupled to the control surface rod a. When the controls are deflected, the tab automatically moves in the opposite direction Any time the control surface is deflected, the tab moves opposite and eases the load ii. If the linkage is adjustable from the cockpit, the tab acts as both a trim and balance tab F. Antiservo Tabs i. Serves to decrease sensitivity and also as a trim device to relieve and maintain control pressure ii. Operation a. When the trailing edge of the stabilator moves up, the trailing edge of the tab moves up b. Works exactly the same as the balance tab, but it moves in the same direction (not opposite) G. Ground Adjustable Tabs i. Metal trim tab on the rudder bent in either direction while on the ground to apply a trim force a. Displacement is found through trial and error 4. Flaps A. The most common high lift devices used on practically all airplanes i. Attached to the trailing edge of each wing to increase induced drag and lift for any given AOA ii. Important Functions a. Allow a compromise between high cruise/low landing speeds since they can extend/retract b. Permit a slower landing speed decreasing landing distance c. Permit a steeper angle of descent without increasing speed (allowing safe obstacle clearance) 3

5 d. May be used to shorten the T/O distance and provide a steeper climb path B. Plain i. Simplest of the types ii. They increase the camber, resulting in a significant increase in the coefficient of lift at a given AOA iii. Drag is greatly increased the center of pressure moves aft resulting in a nose down pitching moment C. Split i. Deflected from the lower surface of the airfoil and produces slightly greater increase in lift that plain a. However, more drag is produced because of the turbulent airflow behind the airfoil D. Slotted Flap i. Most popular on airplanes today (On the DA20) ii. Increase the lift coefficient significantly more than plain/split flaps iii. When lowered, it forms a duct between the flap well in the wing and the flap s leading edge a. High energy air from the lower surface is ducted to the upper surface This accelerates the upper boundary layer and delays airflow separation giving a higher C L E. Fowler Flaps i. A type of slotted flap which changes the camber of the wing and increases the wing area ii. It slides backward on tracks and then retracts downward iii. The first portion of its extension increases drag very little but increases lift a great deal a. As the extension continues, the flap drops downward, and drag increases with little lift increase iv. Provide the greatest amount of lift with the least amount of drag, and creates the greatest change in pitching moment F. Flap Control i. Controllable by the pilot, either manually, electrically (DA20), or hydraulically a. The flaps are controlled by a 3 position operating switch ii. Flap Settings in the DA20 a. Cruise 0 o b. T/O 15 o c. LDG 45 o Conclusion: Brief review of the main points The airplane s attitude (rotation around the 3 axes) is controlled by deflection of the primary flight controls. When deflected, these surfaces change the camber and AOA of the wing or stabilizer and thus change its lift and drag characteristics. Trim controls are used to relieve the control pressures necessary and flaps increase lift and induced drag and create a compromise between a high cruise speed and low landing speed. PTS Requirements: To determine that the applicant exhibits instructional knowledge of the elements related to the airplane flight controls by describing the purpose, location, direction of movement, effect and proper procedure for use of the: 1. Primary Flight Controls. 2. Trim Control(s). 3. Wing Flaps. 4

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