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Turning an aircraft with rudders - possible?

Last post 08-19-2007, 7:26 AM by Admin. 1 replies.
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  •  08-19-2007, 1:24 AM 4642

    Turning an aircraft with rudders - possible?

    Now, I know this is going to sound pretty simple, but i'm trying to settle a argument.

    see, what's happening is i'm having a discussion with somene about aircraft physics - namely, rudders. What i'm arguing is that, if the wings are kept level, a pilot could alter his/her flightpath using just the rudders. As a pilot myself i'm pretty sure it's possible (if a little inefficient compared to banking) - it's just the guy i'm talking to doesn't believe the rudders have anything to do with flightpath at all.

    now i'm not talking about civilan aircraft - i'm talking about all military jets, although the Su-34, AV-8, and A-10 are the focus of the argument right now. can someone please help me confirm that it's possible to turn with just rudders? i'd really appreciate anyone with experience on any of these particular aircraft to comment too.


  •  08-19-2007, 7:26 AM 4645 in reply to 4642

    Re: Turning an aircraft with rudders - possible?

    If you use the rudder alone and don't touch any other control, the jet will start banking + turning in the direction of rudder input. This is due to increased lift on the swept back wing that is now meeting the air at a more perpendicular angle + earlier separation on the "inside wing". A turn without banking and pulling is however very ineffective in a fighter and hardly ever used.

    If you force the wings level with rudder input the jet will side slip, but for most cases also turn a bit, just not very effectively.

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