Glossary of Aviation Terms | Elevator

Elevator | Paramount Business Jets

Like the ailerons on a small aircraft, the elevator is connected to the control column in the flight deck by a series of mechanical linkages. Aft movement of the control column deflects the training edge of the elevator surface up. This is usually referred as up ‘’elevator’’. The up elevator position decreases the camber of the elevator and creates a downward aerodynamic force, which is greater than the normal tail down force that exists in straight-and-level flight. The overall effect causes the tail of the aircraft to move down and the nose to pitch up. The pitching movement occurs at the center of gravity (CG). The strength of the pitching movement is determined by the distance between the CG and the horizontal tail surface, as well as by the aerodynamic effectiveness of the horizontal tail surface. Moving the control surface forward has the opposite effect. In this case, the elevator camber increases, creating more lift on the stabilizer/elevator. This moves the pitch upwards, and tails the nose downwards. Power, thrust line, and the position of the horizontal tail surface on the empennage are factors in the elevator effectiveness controlling pitch.


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