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Moving the control stick to the left moves the aileron in the left wing up, that in the right wing down, making the plane lower the left wing. Pulling on the stick moves the elevators up, making the plane raise the nose. Pressing the right rudder pedal moves the rudder to the right, making the plane turn the nose to the right.
Basic aircraft control surfaces and motion.

Aircraft flight control surfaces allow a pilot to adjust and control the aircraft's flight attitude.

Development of an effective set of flight controls was a critical advance in the development of aircraft. Early efforts at fixed-wing aircraft design succeeded in generating sufficient lift to get the aircraft off the ground, but once aloft, the aircraft proved uncontrollable, often with disastrous results. The development of effective flight controls is what allowed stable flight.

This article describes the control surfaces used on a fixed-wing aircraft of conventional design. Other fixed-wing aircraft configurations may use different control surfaces but the basic principles remain. The controls (stick and rudder) for rotary wing aircraft (helicopter or autogyro) accomplish the same motions about the three axes of rotation, but manipulate the rotating flight controls (main rotor disk and tail rotor disk) in a completely different manner.


Flight control surfaces sections
Intro  Development   Main control surfaces  Secondary control surfaces  Control trimming surfaces  See also   Notes   References  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Development
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Aircraft::control    Right::flight    Rudder::surfaces    Angle::pilot    Stick::which    Ailerons::aircraft

Moving the control stick to the left moves the aileron in the left wing up, that in the right wing down, making the plane lower the left wing. Pulling on the stick moves the elevators up, making the plane raise the nose. Pressing the right rudder pedal moves the rudder to the right, making the plane turn the nose to the right.
Basic aircraft control surfaces and motion.

Aircraft flight control surfaces allow a pilot to adjust and control the aircraft's flight attitude.

Development of an effective set of flight controls was a critical advance in the development of aircraft. Early efforts at fixed-wing aircraft design succeeded in generating sufficient lift to get the aircraft off the ground, but once aloft, the aircraft proved uncontrollable, often with disastrous results. The development of effective flight controls is what allowed stable flight.

This article describes the control surfaces used on a fixed-wing aircraft of conventional design. Other fixed-wing aircraft configurations may use different control surfaces but the basic principles remain. The controls (stick and rudder) for rotary wing aircraft (helicopter or autogyro) accomplish the same motions about the three axes of rotation, but manipulate the rotating flight controls (main rotor disk and tail rotor disk) in a completely different manner.


Flight control surfaces sections
Intro  Development   Main control surfaces  Secondary control surfaces  Control trimming surfaces  See also   Notes   References  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Development
<<>>