The Ailerons

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The ailerons – These are parts of the wings and are connected as shown below. They are moved up and down by moving the control column (stick) from side to side, and are linked together so that one aileron moves down when the other moves up:


BGA Gliding Basics – Effects of controls – June 19

Movement of the stick to the left raises the left aileron and depresses the right aileron. Thus, the left aileron presents a reduced angle of attack to the airflow, and therefore gives less lift; the right aileron, having been lowered, presents an increased angle of attack and hence gives more lift.



The result is that the aircraft rolls or ‘banks’ to the left around a line drawn through the fuselage from nose to tail (the longitudinal axis). This is called a movement in the “rolling plane”, ie, banking. If you hold the stick to the left you will continue to roll (or bank). If, therefore, you want to alter the angle of the aircraft in the rolling plane, you move the stick to one side, wait until the required attitude is reached, and then centralise the stick to maintain the attitude.


It will be seen later how bank in the appropriate direction enables the aircraft to turn.