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Rudder -Yaw

  1. Cut two 0.25 inch (6 mm) slits about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart from each other on the vertical stabilizer of your styrofoam glider and then bend this area to the right and then left to crease it. The tab you have just made is called the rudder.

  2. Looking at your styrofoam glider from the front, fold the tab to the right so that it resembles the diagram on the Rudder - Yaw Web page.What motion do you predict will result when you fly your airplane? turn right

  3. Fly your styrofoam glider. Was the motion the same as your prediction in the question above? varies If not, describe how it differed. varies.

  4. The styrofoam glider should have yawed counterclockwise around its center of gravity if viewed from the front. Where is its center of gravity in terms of the length of the airplane? varies

  5. Now bend the tab left. Predict the motion you will see when you fly the styrofoam glider: turn left.

  6. Fly the styrofoam glider again. Was your prediction correct? varies If not, describe how it differed. varies

  7. When the tab is deflected to the left, where is more force generated? to right

  8. When would a pilot use the rudder to cause an airplane to yaw? turn plane left or right

  9. Where is the rudder located on a commercial jet? on vertical stabilizer

  10. Which type of airplanes have more than one rudder? fighter plane; planes with powerful engines

  11. What is the advantage to having more than one rudder? more control

Related Pages:
Lesson Index
Aerodynamics Index


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Editor: Tom Benson
NASA Official: Tom Benson
Last Updated: Thu, Jun 12 04:46:41 PM EDT 2014

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