To Non-Java ALLSTAR Network Website

                                                                                                                                                                        JAVA-capable browser required for graphic-based menus (Exploer 3.0 or Netscape 2.0 or greater)

Please let me remind all of you--this material is copyrighted.  Though partially funded by NASA, it is still a private site.  Therefore, before using our materials in any form, electronic or otherwise, you need to ask permission.
There are two ways to browse the site: (1) use the search button above to find specific materials using keywords; or,
(2) go to specific headings like history, principles or careers at specific levels above and click on the button.
Teachers may go directly to the Teachers' Guide from the For Teachers button above or site browse as in (1) and (2).

FAQnewred.gif (906 bytes)           


Controls are sometimes dynamically balanced to assist the pilot to move them. By having some of the control surface in front of the hinge, the air striking the forward portion helps to move the control surface in the required direction. The design also helps to counteract adverse yaw when used in aileron design.

Control surfaces are sometimes balanced by fitting a mass (usually of lead) of streamline shape in front of the hinge of the control surface. This is called mass balance and is incorporated to prevent flutter of the control surface, which is liable to occur at high speeds.

The exact distribution of weight on a control surface is very important. For this reason, when a control surface is repainted, repaired or component parts replaced, it is essential to check for proper balance and have it rebalanced if necessary. To do this, the control surface is removed, placed in a jig and the position of the center of gravity checked against the manufacturer's specifications. Without any airflow over the control surface, it must balance about its specified C.G. This is known as static balance. For example, the aileron of the Bonanza is designed for a static nose heavy balance of 0.2 inch pounds. The C.G. of the aileron is forward of the hinge centerline causing the control surface to be nose heavy.


The information in this section has been extracted from several sources.  Those sources have been contacted and permission to use their material on our site is pending.   However, the format in which this material has been presented is copyrighted by the ALLSTAR network.

Send all comments to
1995-2018 ALLSTAR Network. All rights reserved worldwide.

Funded in part by

Updated: March 12, 2004