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CHAPTER THREE
USE AND EFFECT OF CONTROLS
300.
INTRODUCTION
This chapter briefly discusses the devices with which the pilot operates the airplane in the air and
on the ground and how those devices are to be used effectively. These controls may be grouped
into four categories:
1.
Primary flight controls.
2.
Secondary flight controls.
3.
Power controls.
4.
Auxiliary controls.
301.
PRIMARY FLIGHT CONTROLS
To maneuver an airplane, the pilot must control its movement about its lateral, longitudinal, and
vertical axes. This is accomplished by the use of the flight controls (elevators, ailerons, and
rudder) which can be deflected from their neutral position into the flow of air as the airplane
moves forward through the air. During flight, the flight controls have a natural "live pressure"
due to the force of the airflow around them.
With this in mind, the pilot should think not of moving the flight controls, but of exerting force
on them against this live pressure or resistance.
1.
Elevators. The elevators control the movements of the airplane about its lateral axis. They
form the rear part of the horizontal stabilizer, are free to be moved up and down by the pilot, and
are connected to a control stick in the cockpit by means of cables and pulleys. Applying forward
pressure on the stick causes the elevator surfaces to move downward. The flow of air striking
the deflected elevator surfaces exerts an upward force, pushing the airplane's tail upward and the
nose downward. Conversely, exerting backpressure on the control causes the elevator surfaces
to move up, exerting a downward force to push the tail downward and the nose upward.
In effect, the elevators are the angle of attack control. When backpressure is applied on the
control, the tail lowers and the nose rises, thus increasing the wing's angle of attack and lift.
2.
Ailerons. The ailerons control the airplane's movement about its longitudinal axis. There
are two ailerons, one at the trailing edge of each wing, near the wingtips. They are movable
surfaces hinged to the wing's rear spar and are linked together by cables so that when one aileron
is deflected down, the opposite aileron moves up. Contrary to popular belief, the lift on the
wings is the force that turns the airplane in flight-not the rudder (Figure 3-1).
To obtain the horizontal component of lift required to pull the airplane in the desired direction of
turn, the wings must be banked in that direction. When the pilot applies pressure to the left on
USE AND EFFECT OF CONTROLS
3-1


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