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Push Vs Pull

Asked by: 1685 views Aerodynamics

Please explain the forces acting on the airplane when applying power in a conventional piston engined aircraft with a traction engine installation Vs the configuration with a pusher prop on an engine mounted behind the vertical axis.

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1 Answers



  1. Brian on Oct 22, 2013

    More pertinent is what the forces do. For how they apply consider the position of the engines relative to the cg both vertically and laterally.

    The tractor (not traction) style engine is typically mounted very close to the vertical CG line and forward of the CG. The result is power having a negative effect on pitch stability.

    The pusher style engine is both behind and above the CG. Both cases result in power having positive effects on pitch stability.

    Ever wonder why the a tractor engine mount is tilted down? It’s to put the thrust line as much above the CG as possible as this provides a stabilizing influence in an attempt to counter the destabilizing influence of the tractor style engine.

    Conclusion: Thrust line above the CG = stabilizing. Engine mounted aft of the CG = stabilizing. The opposite for each is destabilizing.

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