Airplane Stability and Control


Active Member
“When this one feature [balance and steering] has been worked out, the age of flying
machines will have arrived, for all other difficulties are of minor importance.”
The Papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright, Vol. 1.
McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1953.

Stability and Control have been the main challenges for autogyro pilots and designers for quite some time, so it might be interesting to read in this book how the field has evolved over time. M.J., Larrabee E.E. Airplane stability and control (2ed., CUP, 2002)(ISBN 0521809924)(413s)_EAs_.pdf

Have fun!

Doug Riley

Platinum Member
Stability and control of FW planes were challenges in the Wright era. The technological push during WWI led to pretty definitive solutions (for subsonic craft anyway) that were quite well-worked-out by the 20's for FW craft.

Cierva had nailed autogyro stability and control by the early 30's. Mastery of helicopter stability and control was pretty complete by the end of WWII.

Any problems in these areas since then have resulted from uninformed (or irrational) designers who failed to incorporate what was already known into their designs -- or perhaps from the natural wish of human beings to see if they can beat the system.