Reduction of hinge moments of airplane control surfaces by tabs

Harris, Thomas A

This report presents the results of an investigation conducted in the NACA 7 by 10-foot wind tunnel of control surfaces equipped with tabs for reducing the control forces or trimming the aircraft. Two sizes of ordinary ailerons with several sizes of attached and inset tabs were tested on a Clark y wing. Tabs were also tested in combination with auxiliary balances of the horn and paddle types, and with a frise balance aileron. A tail-surface model of symmetrical section, equipped with tabs, was tested with 40 percent of the area movable (elevator) when used as a horizontal tail and 60 percent of the area movable (rudder) when used as a vertical tail. The half-span tail-surface model was tested with and without a reflection plane. The results of the tests indicated that inset tabs were superior to attached tabs for the same ratio of tab/control surface deflection.

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