# Building Good Habits for a Better Future Aileron-Rudder Mixing Explained

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2 Aileron-Rudder (A/R) Mixing The logical solution to counter adverse yaw is with the surface that controls yaw, i.e., the rudder. Coordinated rudder deflections along with and in the same direction as the ailerons prevent the plane from skidding in the opposite direction while banking into and out of turns, making course corrections, rolling, etc. (figure 2). Most importantly, with adverse yaw eliminated, the response of airplane conforms more closely to the inputs and intentions of the pilot! Be clear, the function of the rudder here is not to turn the airplane. Rather, the purpose of the rudder is only to prevent adverse yaw in order to achieve a precise axial bank and roll response. 1st U.S. R/C Flight School trains its primary students on planes setup to automatically coordinate the rudder with the aileron through the A/R mixing function in the radio. Radio manufacturers have in fact been Adverse yaw: An inherent opposite yaw or skid that occurs during aileron deflections (esp. on a flat-bottom wing). A flat-bottom airfoil with a curved top surface produces low-pressure lift as air flows over it (ideal for upright flight at slower speeds, i.e., primary training). Right Aileron Bank Example: The lowered aileron increases the curvature of the left wing, thus increasing low pressure lift, causing the wing to lift up and also greater drag. The raised aileron reduces the effective curvature of the right wing, causing a reduction in lift and less drag. Increased drag on the rising left wing drags it rearward as the plane is banking right, a.k.a., adverse yaw. Original flight path Air over curved surface = lift & drag Basic: A flat-bottom airfoil with a curved top surface produces low-pressure lift as air flows over it. Right Bank Greater curvature = greater lift & drag Left wing The left wing with the lowered aileron generates more low pressure lift as the air flows over the increased curved surface, causing the wing to lift up and also an increase in drag. Increased drag on the lifting wing drags it rearward as the plane is banking right, thus causing the nose to yaw left. Reduced c Lift u rva ft tu li r ss e = le & d r ag Lift The raised aileron reduces the effective curvature and lift of the right wing, causing the wing to lower and a reduction in drag. Note: The summary information above might upset some career aerodynamicists because it does not address angle-ofattack, camber, induced and profile drag, airspeed, etc.. The objective here is not to teach aerodynamics, but to condense adverse yaw theory into a simple explanation that the average pilot can wrap his head around and thereby improve his odds of success. Anyone wishing to delve into the subject further can easily do so online, e.g.,

3 providing A/R mixing for the purpose of countering adverse yaw since the 1980 s, but since most instructors are inclined to keep passing down the way that they were taught, it is still not widely used or even understood in R/C. Understand, 1st U.S. R/C Flight School initially operated in the 80 s without A/R mixing because it wasn t the norm in R/C at the time, although, full-scale aviation has widely applied the use of yaw damper (A/R mixing) since the 1950 s so pilots are less encumbered while performing more important objectives. When the school started mixing aileron-rudder on all its primary trainers, the students weekly average number of landings leaped from 10-15, to an increase of over 200%! The reasons for the increase are simple: 1. Whether a beginning R/C flyer applies his inputs correctly or not, he always has honest results to learn from. 2. The airplane s truer representation of the control inputs made leads to an improved understanding of proper control. 3. This enhances a pilot s ability to teach himself with greater retention, and therefore his overall practice is more consistent, predictable, and extra productive. Clearly, one who learns to fly a trainer set up to more precisely reflect the control inputs made is going to learn proper control earlier. However, as a bonus, A/R mixing expands the aerobatic capabilities of primary trainer airplanes as well, e.g., thanks to A/R mixing, aileron rolls remain perfectly axial and on heading throughout. Furthermore, the improved control achieved with A/R mixing permits flying in winds that would normally ground most trainers. I.e., since the main challenge of flying in wind is that it tends to exaggerate deviations, the positive control achieved with A/R mixing makes it possible to more precisely and promptly correct deviations before the wind has a chance to exploit them. Thus, even sport flyers have good reasons to utilize this setup on their flat-bottom wing planes. Rudder deflecting with the ailerons, in the same direction, prevents the nose from skidding to the left. Adverse yaw is thus prevented, banks and corrections, even rolls, will be smoother and more axial, and you will feel more connected to the plane. w/o mixing Note: If you re new to A/R mixing, know that pilots still have independent rudder control on the left stick for lefthand ground steering and maneuvers requiring independent rudder. In fact, learning to use independent rudder proves easier after learning to fly with A/R mixing because much of the right stick control will have become routine or automatic thanks to the mix. Note that the rudder does not turn the plane, but simply keeps the rising wing from sliding back during the brief period that the aileron is applied to set the bank for the turn. Aileron-Rudder Mixing Setup Rules-of-Thumb Upon activating A/R mixing, you need to confirm that the rudder moves in the same direction as the aileron, i.e., the rudder should move toward the up aileron (figure 3). On a flat-bottom wing airplane, the rule-of-thumb is to set up the A/R mixing so that the degree or angle of rudder throw matches the aileron throw 1-to-1.

5 Conclusion As stated, maintaining a direct correlation between control inputs and the response of the plane is instrumental to developing optimum control habits. Consider that when the initial control inputs are applied correctly, the need for additional corrections may not even exist. That s when a pilot becomes free to think ahead of the airplane and more efficiently take on new challenges. Hence, by removing the obstacle of adverse yaw, A/R mixing proves to be one of the most effective tools to ensure that pilots learn proper control from the start and therefore continue to enjoy steady advancement and a more successful future. Until next time. Symmetrical wing Equal curvature = equal amounts of low pressure and drag Result: No adverse yaw Left wing Symmetrical = Symmetrical wing airplanes exhibit minimal adverse yaw and thus inherently remain axial when banking and rolling. Thus, there s not much need fora/r mixing with this type. = Flat-bottom Flat-bottom wing airplanes exhibit significant adverse yaw and thus benefit from A/R rudder mixing to achieve an axial bank/roll response. When it s all said and done, learning to fly a flatbottom wing trainer utilizing A/R mixing to eliminate adverse yaw leads to learning the same optimal control habits used to fly a symmetrical wing aircraft, thus making the transition easier.

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