Do elevators create immediate lift off on the big airplanes? E.g., on a 737, 747, or an Airbus, I don't see elevators moving up when I see airplanes lifting off in videos. Is it just a slight up movement that is hard to see then?

In other words—for airliners—how big of an elevator deflection is required for takeoff?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "immediate lift off"? You don't need a lot of elevator to make the aircraft pitch up for take-off, and usually once you get the nose up the elevator is pitched back down to level to maintain the climb. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Mar 15, 2017 at 4:16
  • $\begingroup$ I think perhaps the question is due to the fact that large aircraft have considerable momentum, and there is a delay in applying down elevator and the aircraft rotating to the required angle of attack to begin climbing. $\endgroup$
    – andy-m
    Mar 15, 2017 at 13:37
  • $\begingroup$ To be more clear I mean what creates the sudden increae of angle of attack as a airplane lifts of the runway which looks like 45 degrees angle-- not immediate lift off. I can only conclude it is the elevators, however, on large airplanes eg 747, I do not see the elevators moving at on take off in some lift off videos on You Tube. $\endgroup$
    – pbw
    Mar 15, 2017 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ There is no sudden increase in angle of attack, it's all very gradual. It takes time to rotate to the angle at which take-off occurs, hence why the elevator is not moving at the point of take-off. $\endgroup$
    – andy-m
    Mar 15, 2017 at 16:46
  • $\begingroup$ Here is another way of saying it -- The airplane speeds up on the runway -- it is horizontal -- then it suddenly goes into a 45 degree angle of attack lift off. Yet the elevators did not seem to move at all... $\endgroup$
    – pbw
    Mar 15, 2017 at 16:55


Browse other questions tagged .