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27 votes
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How is a confusion possible between Western and Russian Attitude Indicators?

It's so easy to sit in our comfy lounge chairs and wonder how on Earth pilots get things wrong. The error didn't happen without context. It was dark. There was little to no external visual reference ...
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23 votes
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Why do planes need a roll motion?

This answer is specifically for a fixed-wing airplane, not a helicopter or multicopter, although some aspects of it will apply to them too. What is a turn? A turn is a curvature in the flight path. ...
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21 votes

What is it called when you roll without yawing or pitching?

In the aerobatic community we would call that the beginning of an Aileron Roll. It's harder than it looks.
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19 votes

What causes a plane to lose its roll momentum

What you want is the roll constant $\text{T}_R$. This is basically one of the characteristics wich determines the equations of motion of an aircraft. It gives the slope of the roll speed increase over ...
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18 votes

What are the exact meanings of roll, pitch and yaw?

The key thing missing in your interpretation is that the order is important. Applying the same roll, pitch and yaw angles in a different order will result in a different orientation (mathematically ...
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16 votes

What is it called when you roll without yawing or pitching?

You do a roll change maneuver. In German it is a "Rollwechsel", and the time it takes to do this from -45° bank to 45° bank is an important measure for the agility of a glider. The maneuver is meant ...
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14 votes
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Does "pendulum effect" apply to hang gliders or any aircraft?

For a proper discussion, we should first define what a pendulum is. Only then can be established if such an effect can exist in airplanes. Let's base the definition on Wikipedia. It says that A ...
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13 votes
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What is the name for yaw, pitch and roll together?

Roll, pitch and yaw are referred to in one word as the attitude.
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13 votes

How long can a commercial airliner fly at 90deg roll?

What you're talking about is called "knife edge" flight, where all of the lift is coming from the sideways fuselage, making it a lifting body aircraft with big fins (the wings) sticking up and down ...
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12 votes

How is a confusion possible between Western and Russian Attitude Indicators?

The basic premise has been mentioned by everyone above: the basic instinct is to 'right the wrong', and if we see some indication tilted left, we instinctively want to move it right. It's possible to ...
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11 votes

How is a confusion possible between Western and Russian Attitude Indicators?

Just adding few more points to the already existing answers. I agree with previous commenters - some understanding of pilot perception and context is needed. @Claudix, the image used in your original ...
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11 votes

What causes a plane to lose its roll momentum

Your question is an essence a question about aerodynamic damping in the roll axis. As the aircraft rolls, the rolling motion increases the angle-of-attack of the descending wing and decreases the ...
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10 votes
Accepted

Are there roll control devices other than ailerons?

Yes, that will work. If the entire wing tip pivots, it simply acts as an aileron that takes up the entire chord of the wing. Other alternatives to ailerons include: Weight shifting. If you can shift ...
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10 votes
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Why do some planes drift to the left in flight simulators?

The simulator behaves just like the real thing. Propeller powered aircraft with a prop that rotates clockwise will drift left during the takeoff roll if not corrected. This is caused by a left ...
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9 votes
Accepted

What are the exact meanings of roll, pitch and yaw?

What are the exact meanings of roll, pitch and yaw? It depends somewhat on whether you are speaking from a pilot's point of view or from an engineer's point of view. Your reference to yaw, pitch, ...
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9 votes

Why do planes need a roll motion?

Think about the airplane as a body you want to control. That object has 6 degrees of freedom, including rolling. If you remove rolling you will not be able to control airplane's roll. Imagine a ...
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9 votes

Why do planes need a roll motion?

In addition to the use in turning, you need to realize that the atmosphere is not static. It's in constant motion, both horizontally and vertically. The vertical currents can be strong enough, and ...
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  • 2,507
9 votes

What control surfaces do I need to move to do a roll in a model aircraft?

The ailerons should be connected so that they move opposite each other. When one aileron moves up, the other one must move down, and vice versa. In fact, in full-size aircraft, the ailerons are ...
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8 votes

Does "pendulum effect" apply to hang gliders or any aircraft?

The pendulum effect is there in high wing a/c in theory but the effect is negligible because the moment arm of the center of mass is so short relative to lateral aerodynamic center. As with dihedral, ...
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  • 105k
8 votes

What are the exact meanings of roll, pitch and yaw?

Roll, pitch, and yaw have two different meanings. They can refer to either Euler angles, which describe the attitude (orientation) of an aircraft, or ways that an aircraft can rotate. Euler angles ...
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8 votes

What costs less energy? Roll or Yaw?

When you turn by yawing you are skidding the airplane to point the nose to the side, to offset the trust vector to move the plane sideways as it's going forward. The rate of turn you can achieve this ...
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7 votes
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What is the direction convention for Roll angle?

That depends on the coordinate system, and the Wikipedia answer uses the most common convention. Flight mechanics uses a coordinate system with X in flight direction, Y sideways to the right and Z ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Why does increasing thrust on one engine make the plane roll and not yaw?

Increasing thrust on the right engine only will make the aircraft yaw and then roll to the left. The thrust does generate a yawing moment to the left, but the secondary effect of yaw is roll. In ...
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6 votes

What are the exact meanings of roll, pitch and yaw?

The attitude angles are explained in this wikipedia page, but it seems your confusion stems from the fact that they can present a singularity. Each set of unique Euler angles, outside of the gimbal ...
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5 votes

What is the name for yaw, pitch and roll together?

Pitch, roll and yaw are rotation angles relative to the earth gravitational field. In order to fully describe the state of an unrestrained rigid body in space, there are six Degrees of Freedom ...
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5 votes

Why do Leading Edge Flaps (LEFs) create lift while down at slow speeds, but decrease lift while down at higher speeds?

Leading edge flaps, also known as slats, don't really create lift. The effect on lift coefficient is minor (less than 10% in general) but they help increase the stall angle of attack. As a summary, ...
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5 votes

Flight physics for a roll

Typical airplane is not stable in roll. The outside wing flies a bit faster, which does indeed make it produce a bit more lift and that in turn will make it bank into the turn, tightening it and if ...
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5 votes

What costs less energy? Roll or Yaw?

A constant turn requires a constant centripetal force, i.e. perpendicular to the direction of motion. This force has to be generated aerodynamically (unless rocket engines are used). An ...
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