Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Elevator Controls Pitch
The up elevator position decreases the camber of the elevator and creates downward aerodynamic force, which is greater than the tail-down force that exists in straight-and-level flight. The overall effect causes the tail of the aircraft to move down and the nose to pitch up. The pitching moment occurs about the center of gravity (CG). The strength of the pitching moment is determined by the distance between the CG and the horizontal tail surface, as well as by the aerodynamics effectiveness of the horizontal tail surface. Moving the control column forward has the opposite effect. In the case elevator camber increases, creating more lift (less tail-down force) on the horizontal stabilizer/elevator. This moves the tail upward and pitches the nose down. Again, the pitching moment occurs about the CG.
As mentioned earlier in the coverage on stability, power, thrust line, and the position of the horizontal tail surfaces on the empennage are factors in elevator effectiveness controlling pitch. For example, the horizontal tail surfaces may be attached near the lower part of the vertical stabilizer, at the midpoint, or at the high point, as in the T-tail design.