Thursday, November 13, 2008


The high-speed rotation of an airplane propeller gives a corkscrew or spiraling rotation to the slipstream. At high propeller speeds and low forward speed (as in the takeoffs and approaches to poweron stalls), this spiraling rotation is very compact and exerts a strong sideward force on the airplane’s vertical tail surface. [Figure 3-31]

When this spiraling slipstream strikes the vertical fin on the left, it causes a left turning moment about the airplane’s vertical axis. The more compact the spiral, the more prominent this force is. As the forward speed increases, however, the spiral elongates and becomes less effective.

The corkscrew flow of the slipstream also causes a rolling moment around the longitudinal axis.

Note that this rolling moment caused by the corkscrew flow of the slipstream is to the right, while the rolling moment caused by torque reaction is to the left—in effect one may be counteracting the other. However, these forces vary greatly and it is up to the pilot to apply proper correction action by use of the flight controls at all times. These forces must be counteracted regardless of which is the most prominent at the time.

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