Elevator trim explanation and procedures

Elevator trim explained

Today I’m going to be talking about Elevator trim with you guys. There have been quite a few posts lately about the subject, and it seems some are still not fully grasping what trim does.

Most aircraft have what is known as a trim tab. Some aircraft use the whole elevator or stabilator as part of the trim system. Today we will just go into the trim tab as they both do the same job.

What is the trims purpose?

The trim alleviates any back or forward pressure on the yoke “aka your device”. When you tap the screen to calibrate at the beginning of every flight you are neutralizing the yoke.

The Elevator goes into a neutral position.

The ailerons go into a neutral position.

Trim set to 0° or %

Trim set to takeoff

How do I use trim effectively?

As stated before trim is used to alleviate back pressure on the yoke. In the case of Infinite Flight it’s used to keep our device in a comfortable position where we calibrated it.

Characteristics of trim

  • Every aircraft will have different trim settings for each phase of flight. Things that effect this are speed, weight, design ect. I find that the MD-11 requires a good amount of positive trim to keep it stable. Were as the spitfire requires a negative trim to keep it stable.

  • Positive trim is going to bring the nose up, but more importantly it’s going to slow the aircraft down.

  • Negative trim is going to bring the nose down, but again more importantly increase the speed.

I know some of you are saying what does trim have to do with speed. I’ll get to that in just a minute.

Procedures for trimming

  • Trim the aircraft for your desired speed I cannot emphasize this one enough

  • If you are pulling back on the device from where you calibrated it use positive trim.

  • If you are pushing forward on your device from where you calibrated it use negative trim.

Why we trim for speed

Let’s use the Cessna 172 as an example. This plane has been used for decades as a training aircraft. When we taxi into the runway for takeoff we apply 100% throttle to do so correct? Ok so now we have max thrust we can’t give it anymore. If we are out of trim in the positive direction we are going to either. A. Fight the yoke forward to maintain speed or B. end up stalling the airplane correct?

If our thrust which creates speed which in turn creates lift is ineffective cause our angle of attack is to great we either stall or fight the aircraft.

The next time you fly I want you all try follow these steps and see if it helps your flying.

Turbo jet

  • set takeoff power and leave it.
  • Once you are airborne out of ground effect put your device back to where you calibrated it, and use the trim alone to remain under 250 kts.
  • once above 10,000 feet using the trim alone trim for a speed of 280 kts.
  • as you climb you will need to go down to maybe 270 but typically 280 works.
  • Once you reach your cruising altitude trim for your cruising speed.
  • from there on out use the power adjustments to make any altitude changes.

Yes I want you all to hand fly this. Let me know how it works out for you in the comments below ✌️


Very useful topic, wish I had this a few months ago when I started playing. Thanks a lot !

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I’ll just add some aircraft (most airliners) have stabilizer trim instead of elevator trim, which moves the entire stabilizer while the elevator remains in a neutral position.

Not sure if this is the case in IF, but that’s how it is in the real world

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That’s stated at the beginning but great point.

Thanks for tutorial

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Looks like I can’t read ;) great tutorial

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This is a great tutorial, thanks for the advice.

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Very thourough and well said, Brandon. Tutorials from people with working knowledge of the content is always appreciated

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Great tutorial…however can the C172 fly at 250kts up to 10,000 ft?

😂 we all know most don’t fly the C-172
It be cool if it did though.

I updated it for ya @David_Lockwood


Just to bring that most important point again, because as Brandon stated:
you only trim for a speed


Very well said.

How’s it possible to put my device back to where I calibrated it if I have shaky hands? Let alone trimming for speed. Should I put to low sensitivity?

Yes low sensitivity will help a bit.

How do I use trim to correct my nose being so far up? This doesn’t seem normal, but when I go up or down on the trim it doesn’t seem to make a difference?

Trim in its self isn’t going to correct your nose high attitude. Trim it so the magenta line goes away in the trim box. You are very heavy to be cruising at FL400 I suggest you do a Step climb too reduce weight prior to getting to cruise altitude. This will help your nose high attitude quiet a bit.


Thanks, today i learn sometings helpfull

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Does the magenta bar represent the direction to trim? That is, if the bar is above midline, you should adjust more positive? Or is it an inverse indicator, of trim error and the adjustment should be the other way?

It’s the opposite direction. It shows the direction where the aircraft goes without any input from you. If it’s perfectly trimmed it will fly by itself

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Very useful indeed! Thank you.