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Questions about the tail part of an aircraft, also called the empennage.

7
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5answers
4k views

Why don't commercial aircraft use all-movable tail surfaces like my RC plane? [duplicate]

Many conventional RC planes use control surfaces at the tail just like the image below: You can see there is a part in front of each surface control that never moves and only the surface control ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

What is the tail strike pitch angle of the ATR-72?

What is the maximum pitch attitude an ATR-72 can be during takeoff or landing, without having a tail strike?
0
votes
1answer
57 views

How do the vortices affect the flow of the horizontal stabilizer upon leaving the wing?

Other than the downwash effect, what other factors that affect the flow to the horizontal stabilizer? such as Dynamic Pressure? Air Flow Disturbance?
1
vote
1answer
81 views

How do the vortices of a fixed wing and horizontal stabilizer interact? [duplicate]

What interaction of vortices between the fixed wing and horizontal stabilizer? How do the vortices affect the flow of the horizontal stabilizer upon leaving the wing? when will the downwash effort ...
0
votes
1answer
116 views

Why are cambered airfoils used for horizontal stabilizers in some designs?

From what I know, usually NACA9/12 or similar symmetrical airfoils are used for the tail. Still some aircrafts use highly cambered airfoils for elevators. What are some advantages and disadvantages ...
6
votes
3answers
460 views

Why do the C-141 and C-5 have T-tails?

Both the C-141 Starlifter and C-5 Galaxy have T-tails, where the horizontal stabilizers and elevators are mounted on top of the vertical fin rather than on the sides of the aft fuselage. T-tails are ...
2
votes
3answers
563 views

Why are fighter jets equipped with dorsal fin?

I don't really get whats the purpose of dorsal fins and what they do with the flow over the vertical stabilizer. I noticed on most single tail configured aircrafts are equipped with a dorsal fin like ...
3
votes
1answer
186 views

What effect does downwash have on the horizontal stabilizer

Fighter aircrafts usually have their horizontal stabilizers in lined with the main wing which would subject it to downwash. How does this effect the stability of the aircrafts and the effectiveness of ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

Is there a difference in stability between a tail downforce (cg ahead of ac) and a tail upforce (cg behind)?

So from what I understand, having a - 1.cg ahead of the neutral point(ac) with a tail downforce and 2.cg behind ac with a tail upforce are both stable configurations.(Please correct me if I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

Why does operating the rudders in the engine slipstream offer improved rudder authority at low speed?

The above question is usually presented as an advantage for H-tail configurations. How does it help?
1
vote
2answers
419 views

What is the 'end plate' effect?

When talking about T-tail configuration, I don't understand the statement that, "The vertical tail can be shorter due to the end plate effect of the horizontal tail." What exactly is the endplate ...
5
votes
3answers
227 views

What is this tab above the DC-10's #2 engine? [duplicate]

What is this big rectangular tab (?) thingy extending backwards just above the DC-10's #2 engine? What does it do? (wikimedia.org, picture modified to point out the tab thingy)
2
votes
2answers
268 views

Would the Concorde have been better off using a tailed delta wing?

In one of the answers to this question about the Concorde's lack of high-lift devices on its wings, it was pointed out that the Concorde, using a tailless delta wing, wouldn't have been able to use ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the function of this fixed protrusion on the tail?

(wikimedia.org) Above you can see a small fixed (?) part on the Embraer 190, just above the KLM logo. It is on both sides of the tail. What is the function of this part?
3
votes
1answer
415 views

What do the tail numbers on aircraft mean?

Could someone please tell me the meaning of the alphanumeric numbers on aircraft's tails? What exactly does the SB 023 mean for this Indian Sukhoi-30 MKI aircraft?
2
votes
2answers
901 views

How are empennage airfoils chosen?

Empennage airfoils are usually symmetric. What is the process behind choosing the airfoil used in the tail of the airplane? Is it related to the stability? And then how would the angle of attack of ...
5
votes
2answers
690 views

Why is the horizontal stabilizer forward of the vertical stabilizer on the P-51?

Why is the horizontal stabilizer forward of the vertical stabilizer on a P-51? Are there other airplanes that are like this?
4
votes
2answers
564 views

Is there a formula to calculate how big a ventral fin should be?

I've been doing some research into vertical stabilizer designs for a university assignment and have come across ventral fins. I've found a fair bit of information on why they're fitted but can't find ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do T- tail airplanes have a shorter vertical stabilizer?

Airplanes with a T-tail design have a shorter vertical stabilizer than the conventional design , what is the reason?
5
votes
1answer
931 views

Why aren't there V-tail airliners?

Since a V-tail is lighter and generates less drag than a conventional empennage, why has this solution been put away from production?
15
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the benefits of a non-orthogonal (scissor) tail-rotor?

Why is the tail-rotor of some helicopters (e.g., Boeing AH-64 Apache) is made of non-orthogonal (scissor) blades? What are the aerodynamic benefits (or any other benefits) compared to the orthogonal ...
0
votes
1answer
162 views

Which tail type is better in order to obtain higher speed? [closed]

If I want to design an aircraft that can fly with high speed while loaded, which tail type should I choose. The mission is to design an aircraft that can move a certain distance with high speed while ...
7
votes
2answers
447 views

Have there ever been forward-swept horizontal stabilizers, and what would be its advantages?

After going over one of my older questions about forward swept wings, I realize I have never seen a forwards-swept horizontal stabilizer. Do they exist? What would be their advantages, if any?
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is the horizontal stabilizer root interface designed this way?

What is this around the horizontal stabilizer of an Airbus A330? Source It looks like the tail is bionic... compared to this Embraer ERJ-170 trimmable stabilizer. Source What is the purpose of ...
10
votes
1answer
877 views

Is there a common maintenance issue requiring filling a hole in the tail on the A321?

I was on a flight recently (AA 705) and a maintenance worker used a forklift to go on top of the plane shortly before the captain announced that we were going to have to wait at the gate for an extra ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does the MiG-15 have a cruciform tail?

The horizontal stabilizers of the Mig-15 are halfway up the tail. This is called a cruciform tail. Why did they put them there? Why not a T-tail or the normal tail where the stabilizers are on the ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Has there ever been a sideways H-tail on an airplane?

I've seen several aircraft with 2 vertical stabilizers and 2 rudders. This could be an H-tail like the B-25 Mitchell or the A-10 Warthog, or something more sleek like the Su-27. However, I got to ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are the tails always painted, but not the fuselage, in test and delivery flights?

Granted some airlines prefer to paint their own planes, but we always see planes like the one below, protective coating everywhere but the tail. Why's that? (Source)
23
votes
3answers
7k views

Why are airplanes parked at the gate with max rudder deflection?

Quite often I see aircraft parked at the gate with rudder deflected to the max. I see this either with Boeing and Airbus aircraft so it must have been done on purpose. I know that there are dampers ...
6
votes
1answer
441 views

What are these unsymmetrical parts at the tail of the Tupolev TU-144?

On a recent trip to the Technikmuseum Sinsheim, I noticed that the back of the Tupolev TU-144 is not symmetric. Please take a look at the picture I took to understand what I mean: (Please don't mind ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the angle of attack of horizontal stabilizer?

It 'appears' that in most flights the horizontal stabilizer is set for positive angle of attack. So does this produce an 'up force' (lifting force) on tail thus making the aircraft nose-heavy? Or ...
11
votes
1answer
689 views

What is this object on an MD-11?

There is something above the engine on the tail of this MD-11: What is that? Source
4
votes
1answer
388 views

How might one obtain aircraft registration numbers for past flights (months ago)?

I am trying to obtain tail numbers for some flights to retrospectively complete my 5 month old's new passenger flight log book. Antonakis, FlightRadar24 and FlightAware sites are not giving me the ...
21
votes
1answer
3k views

What is this open panel at the rear of this airplane?

I saw this photo at another interesting question: There's an open square panel. What is it? P.S. Any tag suggestions are welcome. All I could think of was "tail". EDIT: are there any other tags for ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is the DC10/MD11/TriStar vertical stabilizer noticeably smaller than other contemporary aircraft?

Why is it that these planes had vertical stabilisers that were noticeably smaller in proportion the aircraft itself to other aircraft? I understand that they had the engines mounted on the tail but ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Does tailless means no tail at all?

When I was reading about the HAL Tejas I observed that it was described as a "tailless" plane. However I could see a tail in the picture. After careful reading I am assuming that being tailless means ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
2k views

How long is this part of the Boeing 737 and cockpit?

I can never find information for the length of each of these areas. For the cockpit length is the nose to the bathroom and the back of the airplane is the coffee symbol to the tail of the aircraft.