Your Own Flight
Changing Direction - Control

Illustration

This aircraft is flying along in a straight line. 

 How can the pilot make it change direction? 

 

Illustration

The pilot can adjust the "flaps" on the wings and tail. These flaps are called control surfaces.

The control surfaces on the tail are called elevators. They tip the aircraft up or down.

The control surfaces on the wing are called ailerons. They make the aircraft roll.

The tail has another control surface called the rudder. It alters the direction in which the aircraft is facing.

 

Illustration

To turn to the left, the pilot puts the left aileron up and the right aileron down. The aircraft tips slightly, and turns to the left.

How can the pilot make the aircraft turn the other way (to the right)?

To turn to the right, the pilot puts the right aileron up and the left aileron down. The aircraft tips slightly, and turns to the right.

In reality, the pilot will use a combination of controls to turn an aircraft. For example, the rudder and the ailerons are used together to make a smooth banking turn.

 

Illustration

How does the pilot control Concorde? 

 

Illustration

Concorde is a supersonic jet aircraft and has control surfaces called 'elevons' on the ends of the wings. 

The pilot moves the elevons up and down to change direction. When they move in the same direction they act like elevators. When they move in opposite directions they act like ailerons. 

 

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