Limitations of the pilot in applying forces to airplane controls

Gough, M N Beard, A P

Measurements were made to determine the relative maximum forces a pilot can exert on the controls of an airplane with the view of obtaining systematic data upon which to base the location of controls within the cockpit and the design of the control surfaces. A cockpit model of generous proportions, capable of being rotated to any attitude, was built with the location of the control stick and rudder pedals adjustable over a wide range of positions with respect to the seat. Besides measurements of maximum forces obtainable with various control locations and with the pilot in several attitudes, estimates of forces within the range normally encountered in flight were made to gain an indication of the accuracy of estimating control forces. The maximum aileron forces measured were of the order of 90 pounds, maximum elevator 200 pounds, and maximum rudder 450 pounds. The average forces applied with the controls in the neutral position for the various cockpit attitudes were of the order of 35, 95, and 400 pounds, respectively, for the ailerons, elevators, and rudder.

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