Flight investigation of the effect of various vertical-tail modifications on the directional stability and control characteristics of a propeller-driven fighter airplane

Johnson, Harold I
naca-report-973
1950


A flight investigation was made to determine the effect of various vertical-tail modifications and of some combinations of these modifications on the directional stability and control characteristics of a propeller-driven fighter airplane. Six different vertical-tail configurations were investigated to determine the lateral-directional oscillation characteristics, the sideslip characteristics, the yaw due to ailerons in rudder-fixed rolls from turns and pull-outs, the trim changes due to speed changes, and the tim changes due to power changes. Results of the tests showed that increasing the aspect ratio of the vertical tail by 40 percent while increasing the area by only 12 percent approximately doubled the directional stability of the airplane. The pilots considered the directional characteristics of the airplane unsatisfactory with original vertical tail but satisfactory with the enlarged vertical tail. The ventral and dorsal fins tested had little effect on the directional stability of the airplane but were effective in eliminating rudder-force reversals in high-engine-power sideslips.

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