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V-Tail

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Ruddervators

Description

A V-Tail aircraft design incorporates two slanted tail surfaces instead of the horizontal and vertical fins of a conventional aircraft empennage. The two fixed tail surfaces act as both horizontal and vertical stabilisers and each has a moveable flight control surface referred to a ruddervator. These ruddervators perform the combined functions of both a rudder and an elevator.

When the pilot moves the control column forward or aft, the ruddervators move symmetrically in the same manner as a conventional elevator. Conversely, when the rudder pedals are displaced, the ruddervator surfaces move differentially to emulate the movement of a conventional rudder. when both the rudder pedals and the control column are moved simultaneously, an incorporated mixing mechanism moves each surface an appropriate amount.

The complexity of the required control system, the susceptibility of the design to Dutch roll and the minimal reduction in drag associated with a V-Tail design has limited its use. The FOUGA CM-175 Zephyr and the Beech BE35 Bonanza are two of the few aircraft types which incorporated a V-Tail design.

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