Pilots’ Ability 👀

Nope. Not rudder 🙂

The horizontal component of lift!


True, but you’ll also dive like a falcon if you don’t use back pressure.

Horizontal component < vertical (downward) component

There’s a book that every aviator should read multiple times called Stick and Rudder by Wolfgang Langewiesche. You can download a PDF of it here.

There is a chapter on “the turn” and it requires a lot of thinking. As the author notes, “most people will rather die than think.” But give it a try.

The formula: An airplane is turned by laying it over on its side and lifting it around through back pressure on the stick.

It’s that small horizontal wing on the back pulling the airplane through the turn. Give it a read - it’s fascinating! Also, be warned that it’s from 1944 so some cultural illustrations are not relevant or appropriate for today.


Thanks! Gonna take a look at it soon

My grandpa (a former seaplane pilot) had me read the chapter about turning a couple years back, I didn’t understand it much then and I gave up on trying to get what it meant. Then I came back to it two months later, spent an hour reading it carefully, and found it fascinating. The physics of a plane seem so complicated, but spending time trying to understand them makes them seem very simple. I have yet to read the rest of the book and hadn’t heard about it I’m 2 years, I guess I have to read the rest now!


@Skinate your grandfather sounds like a legend! I love it. I will say that stick and rudder isn’t an easy read when digested in sections. Reading all the way through is best.

I love when the author refers to slow flight as “mushing” and the horizontal stab as the “flippers”.

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Yeah I love how the author replaces some terms with—as my grandfather hilariously stated—“mumbo jumbo”. It’s not only a really interesting book but it’s also a pretty funny one.


I’ll read the whole book, I just need to find it because it may be in the basement. I emptied out my bookshelf last year because I had too many books 😂