View Full Version : Rudder use

03-13-2007, 05:21 AM
Hi all,

I would like to have an extensive description of rudder use from the most common uses to the special ones.

I do not use it apart from taxiing and for some aiming help and I have the strong feeling that it is very much to my detriment in one-on-one situations that I almost always lose.

I have read so many useful gueds and stuff but this topic is usually only marginally covered if at all.

And what always echoes in my mind and won't leave me be is that I remember having read sometime somewhere that the real good pilot even returns to base if the rudder is damaged. I have always wondered WHY when one can fly around like a birdy w/o it alright. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Could sy help me with some of their own advices regarding the rudder or give me some links where I can find specific directions/guides.

Thanks in advance.

03-13-2007, 05:43 AM
Most manouvers can include rudder input. For example a hard banking turn should be 'co-ordinated' with rudder to push you into the turn - then reversed to keep nose up then again reversed on way out.

What follows is from 'How to pilot an aeroplane' which was published in 1941 so is exactly period.


The rudder is the easiest of the three air controls to master while on the ground and during simple flying, because its reaction is then the same as that from any steering control of a land or water vehicle.

Pushing the left foot forward causes the nose of the aeroplane to turn to the left; pushing the right foot forward causes it to turn to the right.

The function of the rudder, like that of the other air controls, is to make the aircraft follow the course which the pilot desires to make, in spite of irreguĀ*larities in the airflow caused either by air currents or the slipstream of the airscrew when the throttle is altered, and to make the aeroplane undertake the evolutions which the pilot wishes to make. In its simple function of forcing the aeroplane to follow a given course through the air from one place to another, the rudder is the most straightforward control to use. But when the aeroplane inclines in flight to an angle of more than thirty degrees to either side, or during deliberate side-slipping, the reaction of the aeroplane to the movement of the rudder-bar or pedals is no longer the normal one of a terrestrial vehicle, because other forces have then come into play. (What these forces are will form the subject of a separate chapter.) When the aeroplane rotates sideways through the rolling plane the rudder and elevator undergo a continuous interĀ*change of function; when the wings are vertical the rudder assumes the duty of the elevator in relation to the ground or the horizon and the elevator assumes the duty of the rudder.

Let us examine this point more closely, for it is the principal peculiarity of aeroplane control in flight.

Imagine that you are flying along a straight course, level, with a clear-cut horizon ahead of you. You push the rudder-bar with either foot; the aeroplane yaws to left or right in answer. You pull the control column back; the nose of the aeroplane rises above the horizon and the machine begins to climb. You push the stick forward; the nose of the aeroplane falls below the horizon and the machine begins to glide.

Now imagine that you are flying with the machine on its side, so that the side of the fuselage is parallel with the ground, and with the aeroplane travelling straight ahead and level. You, as the pilot, are sitting sideways in space, and the horizon appears to be perpendicular instead of horizontal. You move the upper foot forward (it will be the left foot if the aeroplane is turned over to the right, and the right foot if the aeroplane is turned over to the left) and the nose of the aeroplane rises above the horizon; but to your eyesight this movement appears to be a yaw to the left of the perpendicular horizon line.You move the lower foot forward and the nose of the aeroplane falls below the horizon, appearing to your sight in this case to be a yaw to the right of the horizon line.

Now what this means is that your relation to the aeroplane in the capacity of pilot has remained unchanged; the alteration is due to the change of the aeroplane in relation to something outside the aeroplane itself. This external something appears to you to be the changed position of the horizon because the horizon is the index by which you fly. But the true alteration is the change in the effect of the external forces which act upon an aeroplane in free flight.

A similar change is noticeable in regard to the elevator. When the aeroplane is turned over upon one side, movement of the elevator will cause the machine to travel round the horizon line. TheoretiĀ*cally the elevator is then a perfect rudder. But the facts do not fit the theory. With the aeroplane in the vertical sideways position which has been deĀ*scribed it will turn readily to the right when on its right side, and readily to the left when on its left side; in each case the control column has to be pulled back; but the aeroplane does not respond readily in either position to a forward movement of the control column. In practice, the elevator is then really a one way rudder. But the rudder proper is at that time a perfect elevator.

Between the normal flying position and the verĀ*tical sideways position there is a continuous interĀ*change of function between the rudder and the elevator. Much of the art of skilful flying lies in the acquisition of the ability to employ the two controls at all times to the maximum advantage, remembering that in any position except the horizontal or vertical each control must be supplemented by the other and that neither is then independent.

The function of the ailerons is however always independent. It is to induce or prevent roll, at or from any angle from horizontal level flight to any degree of bank. When performing manoeuvres the ailerons must be used in conjunction with the other controls, but they never take over the function of the rudder or the elevator.

03-13-2007, 08:40 AM
Generally, I initiate my turns and rolls with rudder. In fact, without rudder you won't get maximum roll rate in many of the aircraft (P-38 for example).

03-13-2007, 12:28 PM
Help from a noob....You asked for an extensive discription, and I see that you got one, but in my opinion, unless you understand the basics, the rest will not mean much, the rudder is for coordinateing a turn for flight efficiency, (less drag) you need to see the slip and skid ball to pratice this, I assigned a key to (toggle FOV) then you can see it, (better if you have a big screen) to pratice, keep the ball centered, when you get confuzed as to witch rudder to use, remmember to step on the ball to center it, hope this helps http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

03-16-2007, 04:57 AM
Think of a small FLAT BOTTOMED boat with an outboard motor:

Whilst KEEPING THE MOTOR CENTERED and leaning left or right you can make the boat change direction - it will tend to be fairly gradual but will work ok even at high speed.

Whilst KEEPING THE BOAT LEVEL and only turning the motor you can also change direction - the boat will tend to slide sideways or try to spin around - so the turn will need to be reasonably gentle to avoid either of those situations plus the higher your speed the more difficult it'll be to do.

To get the best turn you use a combo of both - tho how they are combines varies with speed - at low speed you use more rudder + less lean whereas at higher speed you use less rudder + more lean.

"Lean" is of course roll when all this is applied to flight - and as more roll is used then elevator comes into play more and in effect progressively takes over from rudder.

"Special Purposes" - the two that immediately spring to mind are Skids and Chandelle Turns - neither of which I think can be done in PF due to flight model limitations.

03-16-2007, 02:04 PM

Skids and chandelles can absolutely be done in the sim. I haven't seen a sim since 1994 that didn't let you do both.

A skid is just an uncoordinated turn (too much rudder), and a chandelle is just a GA version of an Immelman (without the whole upside-down bit). There's nothing at all that's difficult to model there.

The boat isn't a bad analogy, but it doesn't really account for the roll/yaw coupling in aircraft. Most of the use of rudder in coordinated turns is to counteract adverse yaw, rather than just to turn faster. Ailerons work by increasing or decreasing the camber (and thus lift) of the wing. You can't increase lift like that without increasing drag, as well. The net effect is that rolling a plane left will cause it to yaw to the right, and rolling right will cause the plane to yaw to the left. You need to use rudder to counteract that for best performance.

An odd exception, however, was WWI aircraft. A few had ailerons so stiff that it was quicker and easier to roll into a turn with the rudder; the ailerons were just used to fine-tune the turn. This works because most planes are built so that yawing to one side will cause roll in the same direction (by several mechanisms, some intentional.) This is evident in the sim, too, so you're not out of luck if your ailerons get shot off.

03-16-2007, 03:10 PM
not in my sim (pf 2 months old, v3.00) most of the aircraft skid flat, the others roll the wrong direction, very annoying, do you know if any of the patches fix that, Ive been reading that the 4xx are causeing worse control problems. I'm not up to learning to fly all over again, I'm two old and set in my ways! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

03-17-2007, 11:47 AM
Can anyone confirm for me the method for executing the fastest turn? For me, in a flat turn, I am using rudder into the direction of the turn. So if I want to turn left, I bank approx 70 deg left and apply a certain amount of left rudder. I do more or less rudder depending on what keeps the plane stable (or the ball centered). Is this the fastest way to turn?


BTW, I have been successfully pulling off skids to avoid enemy fire from my 6.

03-17-2007, 12:32 PM
Are you pulling back on the sick? remmember if you are in a steep bank, you need up elevator, the plane dosen't know its in a bank or turn, also if you use combat flaps you can pull it even tighter, just remmember to raise them when you roll out or it will waant to climb on you, hope this helps!

03-17-2007, 08:26 PM
Are you pulling back on the sick?

Forgot to include that part. Yes, pulling back on the stick as well. It seems like skidding around a corner like a dirt-track racer. Sometimes, I also go into a shallow dive during the turn just to cut the corner a bit.

So is this the quickest way to change direction outside of an immelman? Or is there is there another "turning" method to reverse course on your opponent?


03-17-2007, 10:39 PM
It sounds like you got the hang of it pretty well, I don't know what planes your useing, but I do pretty good in the F4u or the hellcat, (the game is still new to me) and I've noticed that a few things aren't very accurate, but you can try a split-s, sometimes it works for me if I do it right, make sure you have enough altitude, roll onto your back, hit your combat flaps, and pull hard to chang direction, then head for about a hundred feet at full power, then turn left, in reality japanies aircraft had trouble turning left at high speed, chopping power and doing a snap roll with rudder in reality would somtimes force them to overshoot, but they seemed to have programed them to chop power at the same moment you do, so it dosen't always work. it sounds like your haveing as much fun as I am! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

03-17-2007, 10:56 PM
I forgot to mention that if your fighting zeros you can't turn inside them, (again I'm talking reality) the greater your speed, the greater your turning radius, haveing said that, if you slow down, you give them a better shot at you. practice...practice.. practice! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

03-18-2007, 10:51 AM
practice...practice.. practice!

Indeed! I'm doing as much of that as I can. So long as I pause to kiss my girlfriend once in a while, she doesn't complain too much. She'll even review the tracks with me.

I'm trying a lot of planes but flying the F6F and F4U mostly. These are energy fighters more than TnB. And E-fighting is something that does not come naturally to me. If I hop in a Seafire or Zero, it's a total breeze because they perform the way I like to fly. So I'm working with the E-fighters for more of a personal challenge.

Definitely having fun!