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View Diary: How Airliners Work - Flaps and Slats (77 comments)

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  •  Split-able flap handles? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    realalaskan, ER Doc

    Are there any planes that have a flap handle that can be split left/right, in case of the asymmetry problem? Or would that cause more risk than whatever good it might do to have the option?

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 11:45:02 AM PDT

    •  Not that I know of (7+ / 0-)

      I've seen a split handle on a DC-10/MD-11 but I believe the split is front/back. Once controls the slats and one controls the flaps.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 12:21:59 PM PDT

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    •  Could be wrong, but... (5+ / 0-)

      ...none that I know of.  There's just no reason in normal operation to have unbalanced flaps or slats.

      Keep in mind that unbalanced flaps are due to a malfunction in one of the flap mechanisms.  Having a separate lever wouldn't do a dime's worth of good in that case - you can actuate it all you want and the failed flap's still in a fail condition.  Having backup motors, on the other hand, THAT can help, and as MK said some planes deploy them.

    •  No. (6+ / 0-)

      Once an asymmetry condition is indicated, you have a "lock-out" and they stop moving. Fortunately the lock-out usually happens when there is only a few degrees difference between the sides so lift isn't significantly greater on one side or the other. Flaps are designed to move together and anything else is very dangerous so they aren't going to design a split flap handle. Some fighter jets can increase or decrease lift from one side to the other by use of spoilers and cove doors. The spoiler on top of the wing pops up and when the maneuver flaps drive down just a little, the cove doors open and that air under the wing spills through, "spoiling" the lift on that side. But they aren't going to put spoilers on a large aircraft. The F-14A used that system, along with a "split stab" condition in which one horizontal stabilizer can go leading edge down, while the other goes trailing edge down. This allows for some very quick rolling maneuvers and fast turning. The spoiler/cove door system can be used in modes of wingsweep up to 57°. Beyond that it uses the split stab solution to a wingsweep configuration of up to 68°.

      "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for a real Republican every time." Harry Truman

      by MargaretPOA on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 06:59:38 PM PDT

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