Wednesday, September 26, 2007


The control forces may be excessively high in some airplanes, and in order to decrease them, the manufacturer may use balance tabs. They look like trim tabs and are hinged in approximately the same places as trim tabs. The essential difference between the two is that the balancing tab is coupled to the control surface rod so that when the primary control surface is moved in any direction, the tab automatically moves in the opposite direction. In this manner, the airflow striking the tab counter-balances some of the air pressure against the primary control surface, and enables the pilot to more easily move and hold the control surface in position.

If the linkage between the tab and the fixed surface is adjustable from the cockpit, the tab acts as a combination trim and balance tab, which can be adjusted to any desired deflection. Any time the control surface is deflected, the tab moves in the opposite direction and eases the load on the pilot.

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