The aileron stick of my homebuilt ultralight is stiff (hard to move) and the aileron itself can remain in its deflection angle hands free, is that a good thing?

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    $\begingroup$ Please take care to give your questions descriptive titles. "Homebuilt Airplane" does nothing to summarize the question you are asking here. I note that several of your previous questions have had similarly poor titles as well. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Apr 16, 2018 at 12:09
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    $\begingroup$ Your ultralight isn't flying yet, correct? Is the aileron getting stuck even when the wind is forcing it back to neutral, or simply on the ground in still air? $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Apr 16, 2018 at 12:25
  • $\begingroup$ On the ground@Ben $\endgroup$ Apr 16, 2018 at 13:04
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    $\begingroup$ It should not be stiff and hard to move, but remaining deflected on the ground is OK. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Apr 16, 2018 at 15:36
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    $\begingroup$ Hard to move is bad generally, it generally shouldn't take much effort to move your control surfaces. $\endgroup$
    – GdD
    Apr 16, 2018 at 16:32

1 Answer 1


The controls of any aircraft should move easily under the pilot's control. Large aircraft have hydraulic servos to assist the pilot, or even complete fly-by-wire systems, while smaller aircraft often have aerodynamic trim tabs which act as a simple assistance mechanism. On the ground, with no aerodynamic loads, the controls should move easily without such assistance, especially on an ultralight.

I would suspect that your control cables or pulleys are binding on something, or that the pivots of your cockpit controls or control surfaces are over-tightened. Either of these could result in premature wear and failure in flight, as well as the more obvious difficulty in maintaining control before failure. You should definitely investigate the cause thoroughly before attempting flight.


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