What are the control surfaces of an aircraft that allow it to turn?

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kapokkid's profile pic

kapokkid | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Some of the basics, particularly relevant to turning the aircraft, are the ailerons and the rudder.  The rudder is used to change the attitude of the nose of the aircraft while still in the horizontal plane.

Along with the rudder, the elevators and the ailerons are used to allow an aircraft to turn in a smoother way, often referred to as a bank or banking turn.  By using the rudder and the elevators together, along with the trim tabs located on the wings, an airplane can change directions smoothly without losing a great deal of speed.


william1941's profile pic

william1941 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

An airplane can turn in two ways, one is along the longitudinal axis and another is along the vertical axis. The control systems called the ailerons allow the plane to turn with either of the wings moving downwards and the other moving upwards. This causes the airplane to roll to the left or the right. The two ailerons are located on the trailing edges of the wings.

The rudder moves the airplane along the vertical axis. They are located on the tail of the airplane. The rudders control the yaw of the airplane. As they are moved the airplane is forced to yaw either to the right or the left.

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