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Aircraft Yaw

Glenn
Research
Center

Computer animation of the Wright 1902 aircraft
 showing the nose moving side to side.

One of the major breakthroughs of the Wright brothers was the ability to control and maneuver their aircraft. The first aircraft to achieve complete control in all three directions was the 1902 aircraft which is shown in this animation. The animation demonstrates the yaw motion of the aircraft. This is characterized by a side to side movement of the aircraft nose. The Wright brothers achieved yaw control by a movable rudder placed at the rear of the aircraft. The angle of attack of the rudder could be changed by the pilot in flight by means of cables connected to a hip cradle on the 1902 and 1903 aircraft. The motion of the rudder was coordinated with the wing warping to keep the nose pointed along the flight path during turns.

You can view a short movie of "Orville and Wilbur Wright" explaining how the rudder was used to control the yaw of their aircraft. The movie file can be saved to your computer and viewed as a Podcast on your podcast player.


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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Jun 12 2014

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