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I´m currently in the process of designing a prototype aircraft and since I don't have very much experience with this I have the following question: I know that the center of gravity of an airplane should be located in front of the center of lift so it is self stabilizing. The problem with my design is that the main wings have to be in front of the center of gravity. To counteract that, can I design the back wings in a way so that the center of lift is moved behind the CoG ?

Thanks for your answers !

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  • $\begingroup$ Actually, you want the center of lift right where the center of gravity is. Otherwise the aircraft experiences a pitch moment which will make it deviate from a straight flight path. It is actually the neutral point which should be aft of the center of gravity. For a forward wing position make the horizontal tail larger such that the lift per area is noticeably smaller than that of the wing. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Aug 18 at 16:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Simon Henn Let's go back to square one. Why does your center of gravity have to be behind the wing? Remember, the aircraft has to fly first before it can carry payload, which can be below or on the wing. Can you provide a diagram or more detailed description of what you are trying to build? $\endgroup$ – Robert DiGiovanni Aug 19 at 0:27
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Yes you can, the tail volume needs to be such that the neutral point shifts aft of the CoG. This answer has some details - positive lift from the tailplane, but it must never stall!

More details about tailplane design in the answers to this question. The absolute safest config at a wide range of CoG is the CoG in front of the Centre of Pressure of the main wing, and a downforce from the horizontal tail.

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