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Flight controls/surfaces behaviour in turbulence

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General Aviation

Have you ever noticed the flight surfaces, and thus the yoke, are deflected a considerable amount by turbulence, especially upwards/downwards gusts, of course assuming you not resist holding the yoke in place firmly?

I expect to be same changes in feel/pressure, but to deflect the yoke considerable? How have you experienced?

I use to fly in pretty good weather and I haven't notice the yoke to want to deflect on its own if I let it free when the wing is hitted by a gust or so. But I think it depends a lot on gust intensity, thus I don't use to fly in bad weather, I think this is the reason I haven't noticed it.

I figure out when the wing encounters a draft the ailerons might cancel each other the opposite deflection due to inertia, but what about the elevator? There's nothing to cancel it out in this case. Or even in the aileron case, is the inertia too low to notice a considerable deflection?

Thanks!
 

 

2 Answers



  1. Andres on Jan 24, 2013

    Thats why jets have sweep back wings. Swept back wings develop less lift at low speeds, thats why they must flaps, slats, and slots. Thus flying at a specified speed by the manufacturer (usually lower speed than cruise), called turbulent/air penetration speed, airplanes do not suffer structural damage in turbulence, and also develop less lift but with less lift comes less turbulence. Imagine passing a speed bumb with a stiff suspension at 40mph and at 150. You will certainly jump higher at 150.
    Of course severe turbulence may damage the structure. When certifying the airplanes they bend the wings until they brake, every wing of every airplane has broken at certain angle and strength except the 787 due the composite materials.

    And always the basics, keep attitude and wings leveled allowing changed in altitude and speed. Little changes though.

    Hope it helps bud!

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  2. SteveJeff on Jan 27, 2013

    The idea was not if turbulence might damage the surfaces but to find out if surfaces, and implicitly the controls/yoke, tend to deflect themself in (moderate) turbulence. So, have you experienced this?

    Thanks so much!

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