posted on Dec, 21 2006 @ 02:48 PM
dangler - In 200 words or less, here is what that is all about:
The tail rudder of the Bell X-1 (the plane Chuck Yeager flew when he broke the "sound barrier" in 1947) originally had a traditional tail rudder.
You can see this rudder on page 5 and 7 of the document. This rudder became useless at high speeds (around mach 1). I'm not an aerospace engineer,
but I believe this document is describing this problem.
In any case, whether that was the point of this paper or not, to alleviate the problem, engineers designed the tail to become one large movable
surface, effectively making the entire tail a rudder. This was a relativly easy fix, and it would not require a total redesign of the X-1 aircraft.
The X-1 tail was redesigned, and the problem was solved.
This was a major milestone in the history of supersonic flight. Almost all fighter planes these days use this concept of a movable tailplane rather
than a traditional tail flap.
[edit on 21-12-2006 by Soylent Green Is People]