Airplane Elevator – Pitch Motion


The airplane elevator is the control surface that performs the pitching motion in aircraft. It is usually located on trailing edge of horizontal stabilizer.

ROLL PITCH YAW
Roll – Pitch – Yaw

All movements of the aircraft during flight depend on the pressure distribution on the aircraft. The basic control surfaces for a fixed wing aircraft work on the principle that these surfaces stop against the air flow and distort it, thus creating a high pressure zone. In cases where the control surfaces are operating, the pressure symmetry on the opposite sides of the plane is distorted and this provides the desired movement.

Elevator of a Plane

Airplane Elevator: Provides up and down (pitch) control of the aircraft. They are located at the trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizer. As the elevator moves up and the air hits these surfaces, the tail part of the aircraft moves down, and the nose of the aircraft moves up. In the opposite case, if the elevators move down, the tail part moves up and the nose part moves down. They are controlled by the back and forth movement of the stick in the cockpit. The elevator moves up when the pilot pulls the stick back. This creates a high pressure zone on the horizontal stabilizer and the aircraft acquires a nose up moment. The opposite happens when the stick is pushed forward.

Aircraft change their angle of attack thanks to the elevator and climb or dive with the angle of attack they obtain. The reason this movement is called the dolphin motion is that the planes can dive or climb.

parts of plane
Parts of an Airplane

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