Linked wings help fighter land

  • Wed Feb 19th, 2014 10:23am
  • Life

By Cory Graff Flying Heritage Collection

Recently, we were shooting photos of the FHC’s Messerschmitt Bf 109. Part of getting the plane “cleaned up” to shoot was centering the ailerons and rudder.

When I put one aileron at neutral flight position, the other drooped a little. Centering the other side left the opposing aileron deflected downward. It was then that I found out that when the Bf 109’s flaps go down, the ailerons follow suit, deflecting downward slightly on both sides. This configuration helps the Bf 109 stay more controllable in the roll axis at slow landing speeds.

Many of the fighters in the FHC’s collection have slight aileron droop, but it is very rare to see the ailerons and flaps connected to one another as they are in the Messerschmitt.