Understanding Trim

Hey all, welcome to this tutorial which I will be explaining the functions for trim! Mostly to help those pilots who are confused with this system. So here we are:

Understanding (Elevator) Trim

What is Trim?
“Elevator Trim” is a certain system in aircraft that gives assitance to pilots during climb, descent & cruising. Its purpose is to replace the force/pressure off the primary controls, making the job easier for pilots to maintain a stable altitude.

Where is it located on the Simulator

The trim system is located on the main page just above the Flaps Utility. It can be adjusted by holding down and swivelling up or down. It reaches from +100 to -100.


How do we use it?

For some, trim can be confusing and tricky and for some its a piece of cake. Basically you should only be using it when you’re on climbing, descending or sometimes cruising, since it can turn fatal.

When applying trim to an aircraft it must done in the opposite direction. Wether its descent, cruising or climb. Lets say that the pressure used to maintain a altitude wants to be released, trimming the aircraft downwards would stabilize and release that pressure.

In Inifinite flight the trim is usually used during descent or climb. On final approach, the yoke can be hard to control or just hard to stabilize with a descent rate (sometimes because of speed and flaps). By appling trim like: 40% or 60%, depending on the weight & flaps, maintaining a safe descent and controlling the yoke will become so much easier. The pressure will be relieved!


An advanced diagram:

Still don’t get it?

Remember: Only if there’s to much pressure.

Let’s say your landing and your struggling to keep the nose up. Using some positive trim will release the pressure of maintaining that angle and you won’t need to apply much force to pull up the yoke.
In this case it’s your device not wheel.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully I explained it well, if theres anything not quite right please notify me :)


Thank you for creating this tutorial. I’ve never understood how to use the trim until now. :)





Trim relieves the pressure done over the yoke,it doesn´t eliminate it.

Varies with the weight and flap setting.

Otherwise, nice tutorial.


Thanks @Sturmovik, always count on you for the grammar :). Those are basic examples as well.


@Skylines I don’t often tell people about grammar issues

You did a good job, I haven’t understood much about trim.

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Thank you,very helpful!

Trim is practically useless as you can always re-calibrate your device. Otherwise nice tutorial :)


Do pilots really use 40-60% trim? I usually use 7% for take-off and 3-5% for approach and landing :0

It’s a basic example and figure :)

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Do you mean that the tutorial hasn’t helped or you just haven’t understood in general.

Not sure why you’re telling me that you don’t usually tell people about grammar issues?

Are you affiliated with @Sturmovik?

  1. I didn’t understand much before I read this.
  2. …The only thing I can think of is we’re both Hispanic. However, I do pay a lot of attention to grammar.
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Don’t confuse elevator trim with horizontal stabilizer trim, which unfortunately is not implemented in IF.

Elevator trim just changes the default position of the elevator and therefore limits the movement/effect of the elevator.
Horizontal stabilizer trim does not move the elevator, but the entire stabilizer instead.


Thanks for clearing that up @gamingpilot.

Well done @Jan you noticed. People sadly do get the two confused but actually there completely different.

Make sure that you have noticed the heading for this post, it clearly marks in brackets:


Maybe the title should reflect that as well.

Since as you said, the only trim we have is elevator. Most of us who know, should get the message, they will be greeted by the heading once in the thread.

It’s not necessary, probably just confuse people.

I wasn’t so sure about trim, but now you’re cleared about my knowledge thanks! :)

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It seems complicated but when you understand it, it’s actually simple.

It’s nice this tutorial came of assistance.

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The thing is that in IF it’s not realistic.
What is described in the original post is how to use elevator trim to achieve what’s being done with stabilizer trim in real life. That is confusing.
There are other factors that make it even more confusing, like AP and re-calibrating.

I’m not trying to complicate things. I’m just trying to be accurate.

“Most airliners and transport aircraft feature a large, slow-moving trimmable tail plane which is combined with independently-moving elevators. The elevators are controlled by the pilot or autopilot and primarily serve to change the aircraft’s attitude, while the whole assembly is used to trim (maintaining horizontal static equilibrium) and stabilize the aircraft in the pitch axis.”

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Where going to deep @Jan. Save it for when it’s added to the simulator ;)

People wouldn’t understand that stage yet. But it’s nice you have the knowledge, well done!

Well I was disappointed to find out that when you change the trim settings in IF, only the elevators move and not the entire stabilizer, because that’s what you expect that setting to do. It’s what the setting should do.
The current situation doesn’t make sense.

But we have to make do, for now, but I hope it will be corrected. It also would be much easier to explain and understand.

I do think you should explain how it works in real life and then explain the limitations in IF. It makes much more sense. It is a simulator after all.

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