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Lesson for First Flight

Posted 03-16-2008 at 08:27 PM by Crumb

I've read through the first flight lesson in Glider Basics. It begins going over the basic parts of the glider. Wings, vertical and horizontal stabilizers, ailerons, elevators, rudder, wheels, even the pitot and total energy tubes for instrumentation.

Then it gets into what to expect on the first flight. It says the instructor will do most of the flying :pout: but I should get to do a few turns with and without the rudder.

I find the bit about the rudder interesting, because I never was positive what the rudder was for. (I thought it was something like trim.) According to the book though the rudder (which is controlled by the pedals) is used in conjunction with the ailerons when turning, to counter act the increased drag on the aileron that would cause the plane to turn in the opposite direction when starting a turn before the wings pull it the right way. This would result in the plane flying slightly sideways so the air flow would not be straight over the wings.

By moving the rudder while turning this effect is counter acted and the glider will go the right way immediately and maintain correct airflow over the wings during the turn. :D Apparently it is common on a first flight to demonstrate turning with and without the rudder.

Another thing I learned is that gliders don't have artificial horizons. So one has to use a line on the canopy to determine the attitude of the glider while in flight. That's a little disappointing, but I imagine it would be better to fly without looking at the instruments.
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