How Does the Rudder Work On An Aircraft?

There are several working parts to an aircraft, each of which play an important role in making the plane operational. One of the more complex and interesting of these is the rudder parts. Used and found in submarines, ships, hovercrafts and aircrafts, the rudder serves the primary purpose of controlling curving movement through fluid mediums like air or water. 

The rudder is located at the very rear of the aircraft right below the rear fin (vertical stabilizer). Right under this, the rudder appears as an attachment of small moving hinges. While the role of the vertical stabilizer is to keep the plane stable and to prevent it from straying from side to side, the rudder’s job is to control the oscillation or yawing motion of the plane. In other words, the rudder controls the nose direction of the aircraft and prevents it from moving too far left and too far right.

The rudder works in tandem with the vertical stabilizer and the ailerons of the plane. The ailerons are the small hinged parts located on the outboard section of each wing. The ailerons are used to turn the airplanes by way of “banking” the aircraft. When banked, or when one wing tip moves down while the opposite moves up, an unbalanced side force is created and from this force, the plane can start turning. This is when the rudder plays its part in controlling the curve and preventing a drag or even an increased yaw. Without the rudder playing this vital role, the plane could potentially accelerate further off the intended flight path.

To understand this further, we have to dissect the physics involved in this. During a plane’s flight, a side force is generated due to the airfoil of the wings. For those not familiar with such jargon, airfoil simply refers to the pressure above and below the plane's wings which causes lfit. The orientation of this airfoil is what causes the plane to experience side forces from the left and right. The rudder helps to deflect these forces which in turn creates a torque in the aircraft’s center of gravity. Simply put, this will cause the aircraft to rotate or wobble at its center and enable the pilot to guide the vehicle towards its destination.

For those still getting acquainted to the aircraft's rudder as well as to other important parts in its makeup, it may help to have the consultation of experts, especially when acquiring such parts. NSN Components can be a great resource for those seeking such knowledge, so if you are in the business of acquiring or needing to know more information on NSN parts or military parts, feel free to call us at +1-714-705-4780 or email us at You can also find more information by browsing our CAGE Code lookup. 


September 27, 2022

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