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Airframer journal -
September 2005 issue

Flight testing of a simple fix to lateral stability deficiencies
By Joachim Grenestedt
Photo by Joachim Grenestedt

Engineers at Lehigh University recently designed and successfully flight tested a new control device that can tailor the lateral stability of aircraft. Joachim Grenestedt, a mechanical engineering professor, designed canted tabs that are attached to the ailerons, the movable control surfaces on the wings that are used to roll the aircraft. Mounted on the trailing edge of aircraft ailerons, ‘canted tabs’ [an idea initially proposed by aerodynamicist Sven-Olof Ridder] are designed to modify the stick free lateral stability characteristics of aircraft. There are a number of reasons why altering lateral stability may be beneficial:

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