Results are presented of a flight investigation conducted on a fighter-type airplane to determine the factors which affect the loads and load distributions on the vertical tail surfaces in maneuvers. An analysis is made of the data obtained in steady flight, rudder kicks, and fishtail maneuvers. For the rudder kicks, the significant loads were the "deflection load" resulting from an abrupt control deflection and the "dynamic load" consisting of a load corresponding to the new static equilibrium condition for the rudder deflected plus a load due to a transient overshoot. The minimum time to reach the maximum control deflection attainable by the pilot in any flight condition was found to be a constant. In the fishtail maneuvers, it was found that the pilot tends to deflect the rudder in phase with the natural frequency of the airplane. The maximum loads measured in fishtails were of the same order of magnitude as those from a rudder kick in which the rudder is returned to zero at the time of maximum sideslip.
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