Effect of Controls: Rudder

The objective of this lesson is to demonstrate that the rudder yaws the glider and does not turn it.

Rudder does not turn the glider – it yaws it.

Learning Points

The rudder controls the yaw of the glider, as shown in flight by the yaw string – that little piece of wool taped to the outside of the canopy. The yaw string is exposed to the airflow and is invaluable in showing us any sideways movement of the glider through the air.

If we fly with too much, or too little rudder applied, we will fly sideways, which is quite inefficient, and if used incorrectly can be dangerous. Using the rudder on its own does not turn the glider as you will see in the demonstration.

The aim is to keep the yaw string centralised – but we’ll come on to that shortly.

Demonstration Scenario

This demonstration is in a valley, in calm conditions, flying a Standard Cirrus. There is no need to practice this exercise – it is intended as a demonstration, and not an example of how you should fly!

The primary effect of rudder

The video is best viewed in YouTube in HD in Full Screen mode, to easily see the on-screen messages and instruments during the demonstration. Use view, pause and rewind as needed to grasp the content and timing of the messages displayed, then focus on the action.

Further Reading and References

Gliding From Passenger to Pilot, 2nd Edition: Pages 33-37

BGA Instructors’ Manual, 4th Edition: Section 2, Chapter 7

BGA Instructors’ Reference Cards: Ex 5c

BGA Gliding Basics – Effects of Controls