posted on Jun, 12 2004 @ 01:38 PM
Originally posted by Hyperen
Originally posted by Milk
Those are there for increased stability, and to, much as the vertical stablizer, keep the aircraft flying straight at high speeds.
If they are there for that, why use them on just a few planes?
Are the planes they are used on less stable in some way?
Most fighters are designed to be stable in certain directions, and unstable in others. This allows for greater maneuverablilty/better response (less
control movement = more movement of the aircraft). Most commercial aircraft are very stable on the other hand. Each aircraft has 3 planes of
rotation. Vertical, Lateral, Longitudinal. Depending on the needs of the aircraft and the stability on each of the planes of rotation, it may need
more help in one plane of rotation so that it matches the stability of the other planes of rotation, or offsets it so that the aircraft performs the
way it is needed to.
Aircraft are also designed for specific purposes. The aircraft you showed may be designed more for straight, level flight (patroling as opposed to
actual air fighting), and so it would make more sense for it to be more stable while going straight. Most subsonic aircraft dont need that kind of
help, and the tail/vertical stabalizer is plenty big enough to keep it going straight. Remember, the tail on most fighters is pretty small, for
various reasons. That fin appears to just be an "extention" of the tail that goes below the aircraft. Of course, unless you contact the
manufacturer, who may be under a non disclosure agreement of sorts, it is merely speculation, although, I am quite confident in my assumption.
Hope this helps. If you want more information, U2U me, and I will get you some resources that I believe are free (I had to buy them for my schooling,
Im an aircraft mechanic) from the FAA. You may be able to find them on the net somewhere. They are basically just text books, but put out by the