Monthly Dose of Aviation (March 2024)

Hello everyone, this is your first monthly dose of aviation! I thought I’d start this segment on the IFC, as most people would appreciate the understanding of flying an airplane.

As one of the main controls of any aircraft, pitch control is the ability to control the aircraft about the lateral axis. This geometric characteristic runs through the aircraft in the y-direction in the Cartesian coordinate plane. The center of gravity (CG) is a point where the weight of the aircraft acts. This point primarily lies ahead of the center of pressure (CP). As a result, it will have a tendency to pitch the aircraft down without any control input. To counter this moment, the horizontal tail plane has to generate a tail-down force. When the moment about the front and aft of the aircraft is equal, there is no rotation around the CG. Thus, the aircraft is said to be in trimmed flight.

A schemtatic showing the longitudinal stability of a fixed-wing aircraft.

Unlike the wings, the horizontal tail has a negative camber line, which reverses the lift direction. The ability to change the incidence of the horizontal tail and elevator deflection, achieves the appropriate pitch attitude of an aircraft, thus improving its longitudinal stability.

The best way to understand the purpose of the horizontal tail is to understand the mechanics of a tower crane:

That’s it for now, and see you next time!


I haven’t seen this in quite a while…