Linked Questions

8 votes
2 answers

What are lateral, longitudinal and directional stability? [duplicate]

When we talk about aircraft having a stable configuration, it refers to lateral, longitudinal and directional stability. Can someone give a practical explanation of what those are and how they work?
Thangaraj Sundaramoorthy's user avatar
46 votes
18 answers

Do pilots adjust the aircraft's flight path to allow for the curvature of the Earth?

If an airliner is flying at approximately 500-600mph, it seems to me that there would need to be a significant adjustment for altitude so as to not fly off into space. Wikipedia says that there's an ...
NormLDude's user avatar
  • 1,585
38 votes
3 answers

Are fighter jets designed to be so inherently unstable that a human can't fly one unassisted?

I'm told that in order to be more maneuverable fighter jets are designed in a way that makes them impossible for a human to control without the help of a flight computer. Is this actually true? ...
Jae Carr's user avatar
  • 24.2k
25 votes
5 answers

Are passengers really not allowed to change seats before take-off due to weight and balance?

Just boarded an A320 with many open seats (Spirit), and the flight attendant said we may not change seats until at altitude due to weight and balance. Is he just trying to prevent pax from moving ...
bcf's user avatar
  • 807
19 votes
4 answers

What does it mean when an aircraft is statically stable but dynamically unstable?

I am reading this book: "Flight Stability and Automatic Control", second edition, Dr. Robert C. Nelson. In the chapter 2, page 42, the author wrote: Note that the vehicle can be statically ...
Dat's user avatar
  • 990
19 votes
2 answers

What is the "yaw damper"?

Some airplanes have a button for the "yaw damper." What is the yaw damper? When is it used? Is it ever required for certification or operation? How does it work?
fooot's user avatar
  • 73.2k
12 votes
3 answers

What are the pro/cons of polyhedral cranked wings?

Dihedral wings seems to be very common (almost if not all low-wing airliners, many modern gliders,...). Polyhedral seems to be less common and mainly found in relatively old aircraft (F4 Phatom, F4U ...
Manu H's user avatar
  • 16.5k
13 votes
5 answers

Could a plane be constructed to be fly in fixed-stick roll-stable circles?

According to it is not possible for a plane to aerodynamically recover from a roll disturbance. Is that an inherent limitation of how planes could be ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 483
12 votes
2 answers

Why would a canard wing be more prone to icing than a stabilizer?

Someone said a canard wing is more prone to icing than a stabilizer. If true, what would explain this?
user's user avatar
  • 536
7 votes
3 answers

What is the way to calculate the required twist of a flying wing?

I am interested in flying wings and a couple of weeks ago I started researching them. I found website and think it's a great source. The website stated that flying wings need twist ...
SAMPro's user avatar
  • 215
8 votes
1 answer

Why are aircraft designed so that the wing stalls before the tail?

I read somewhere that conventional aircraft are designed so that the main wing always stalls before the tailplane. Why is that? My concern is that if the wing stalls, suddenly the tail will push the ...
Jacob's user avatar
  • 115
10 votes
3 answers

Is it possible to balance a tail heavy plane with a vertical prop on its tail?

I've put together a model plane in the form of an angel, and the planform is quite tail heavy (please see pic). I'm trying to balance the plane with a lifting tail prop that makes the "apparent" CG in ...
user14723's user avatar
  • 101
2 votes
2 answers

Center of Gravity and Center of Lift stability

I have recently been reading about the center of gravity and center of lift. On the German Wikipedia there are many different graphics about the relation between the center of gravity and the center ...
Yanick Salzmann's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers

What does stick fixed and stick free longitudinal stability mean in simple terms?

What is the significance of stick fixed and stick free terms in aircrafts with mechanical control and modern fly-by-wire control?
Swati's user avatar
  • 51
0 votes
3 answers

What is the difference between a forward, aft, high and low center of gravity?

I would like to know the difference between when the center of gravity (CoG) is forward and aft? And high and low? I already know that the lower the CoG, the greater the static lateral stability. A ...
Karim Elshawarby's user avatar

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