Flight Controls: Initial and Further Effects

Lesson cancelled due to rain, it started 5 minutes before my lesson was due to start and ended about 10 minutes after we called it quits on waiting for it to stop!

In the checklist of “Firsts”, in the hope we’d have got all the ground work done and be ready to hit the skies the moment it cleared:  I got to do the checks of the plane on my own, in the rain……Smart instructor!  🙂  To be honest it was a warm day and it was nice to be at the airport and walking round the plane.

What we were ment to do today was the practical of Initial and Further Effects of the flight controls.

Any action made on a planes flight controls has an initial effect, followed by a further effect if you continue that action without adding any additional control action.

So for example:

If you fly straight and level and then turn the flight control yoke to the right, the airplane will begin to “roll” to the right.  What you’re actually doing is increasing the amount of lift on the left wing by lowering its aileron (a bit like the effect of lowering the flap) while simultaneously reducing the lift on the right wing by raising its aileron.   The net effect is that you alter the torque around the planes centre of gravity and the plane rolls right…….that’s the initial effect of the action on the ailerons.

The plane is now rolling, a side effect of which is that the plane now has less lift, as a result it’s slipping out of the air nose first (because it’s heaviest).  This slipping or turning around a centre point (centre of gravity) is Yaw.   The further effect of the action of the ailerons is Yaw.

Left uncorrected, the yaw will generate more roll (because the further effect of yaw is roll), the increased roll will generate more yaw, the increased yaw will generate even more roll and on and on it goes putting the plane into a spin!

Flight Control Initial Effect Further Effect
Ailerons Roll Yaw
Rudder Yaw Roll
Elevator Pitch Airspeed

Once you make an action that takes the plane out of balance, you need an additional action to bring it back into balance or you will suffer from the further effect.   Thus when rolling the plane, you need to apply rudder to stop it yawing.

…….and that is initial and further effects of the flight controls, now all I need is blue skies to go and try it out for real.

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