Nice article on Flight Control Surfaces here. Very useful for this thread so here is the Article.
Primary Flight Control Surfaces and Dual Purpose Flight Control Surfaces of a Fixed-wing Aircraft.
The directional control of a fixed-wing aircraft takes place around the lateral, longitudinal, and vertical axes by means of flight control surfaces designed to create movement about these axes. These control devices are hinged or movable surfaces through which the attitude of an aircraft is controlled during takeoff, flight, and landing. They are usually divided into two major groups: 1) primary or main flight control surfaces and 2) secondary or auxiliary control surfaces.
Primary Flight Control Surfaces
The primary flight control surfaces on a fixed-wing aircraft include: ailerons, elevators, and the rudder. The ailerons are attached to the trailing edge of both wings and when moved, rotate the aircraft around the longitudinal axis. The elevator is attached to the trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizer. When it is moved, it alters aircraft pitch, which is the attitude about the horizontal or lateral axis. The rudder is hinged to the trailing edge of the vertical stabilizer. When the rudder changes position, the aircraft rotates about the vertical axis (yaw). Figure 1 shows the primary flight controls of a light aircraft and the movement they create relative to the three axes of flight.
Figure 1. Flight control surfaces move the aircraft around the three axes of flight
Primary control surfaces are usually similar in construction to one another and vary only in size, shape, and methods of attachment. On aluminum light aircraft, their structure is often similar to an all-metal wing. This is appropriate because the primary control surfaces are simply smaller aerodynamic devices.
They are typically made from an aluminum alloy structure built around a single spar member or torque tube to which ribs are fitted and a skin is attached. The lightweight ribs are, in many cases, stamped out from flat aluminum sheet stock. Holes in the ribs lighten the assembly. An aluminum skin is attached with rivets. Figure 2 illustrates this type of structure, which can be found on the primary control surfaces of light aircraft as well as on medium and heavy aircraft.
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