intrepidflyer
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Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:03 am

When driving my car on the motorway at roughly 70mph I can feel how small steering movements or corrections have big impacts.

How do planes manage to take off and land so "straight"? You certainly don't feel like plane veering left and right trying to stay on the runway.

Do the wheels lock on a particular heading?

If the pilot were to sneeze and judder the controls during landing or takeoff roll could the plane veer off at high speed?

Just curious!
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:20 am

intrepidflyer wrote:
Do the wheels lock on a particular heading?


The steering system keeps the nose wheels centered, but they are not locked. The flight crew uses the rudder pedal steering system to make small adjustments. As the aircraft speeds up, the rudder begins to gain authority.

intrepidflyer wrote:
If the pilot were to sneeze and judder the controls during landing or takeoff roll could the plane veer off at high speed?


Could it? Sure. Will it? Probably not.
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
Unless it's expressly prohibited, it's allowed.
You are not entitled to a public safe space.
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flipdewaf
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:32 am

When I was learning to fly in the trauma hawk it was always deliberate to keep a bit away from the center line as the shaking caused by lights etc could cause pieces of trim to be released from the cockpit. the steering with your feet could take a bit of getting used to and my instructor could always tell if I had rushed from home to arrive for my lesson as my "clutch foot" was always a bit heavier than the other.

Talking about going straight down the centre line of the runway always reminds me of a particular apocryphal tale:

It is a very windy day with huge and gusting crosswinds and there is a 747 (isn't it always in these tales) coming in to land. The pilots manage a almost perfect landing worthy of praise even in good conditions. The controller comes over the radio and says "good job on landing in these conditions but you did land just to the left of the center line", "I know" says the captain "and the first officer landed just to the right".

Fred
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Max Q
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:40 am

flipdewaf wrote:
When I was learning to fly in the trauma hawk it was always deliberate to keep a bit away from the center line as the shaking caused by lights etc could cause pieces of trim to be released from the cockpit. the steering with your feet could take a bit of getting used to and my instructor could always tell if I had rushed from home to arrive for my lesson as my "clutch foot" was always a bit heavier than the other.

Talking about going straight down the centre line of the runway always reminds me of a particular apocryphal tale:

It is a very windy day with huge and gusting crosswinds and there is a 747 (isn't it always in these tales) coming in to land. The pilots manage a almost perfect landing worthy of praise even in good conditions. The controller comes over the radio and says "good job on landing in these conditions but you did land just to the left of the center line", "I know" says the captain "and the first officer landed just to the right".

Fred



I have over 1000 hours instructing in the PA 38 !


Haven’t heard that moniker in a while
Best wishes
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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akoma
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 18, 2019 4:50 pm

Max Q wrote:
flipdewaf wrote:
When I was learning to fly in the trauma hawk it was always deliberate to keep a bit away from the center line as the shaking caused by lights etc could cause pieces of trim to be released from the cockpit. the steering with your feet could take a bit of getting used to and my instructor could always tell if I had rushed from home to arrive for my lesson as my "clutch foot" was always a bit heavier than the other.

Talking about going straight down the centre line of the runway always reminds me of a particular apocryphal tale:

It is a very windy day with huge and gusting crosswinds and there is a 747 (isn't it always in these tales) coming in to land. The pilots manage a almost perfect landing worthy of praise even in good conditions. The controller comes over the radio and says "good job on landing in these conditions but you did land just to the left of the center line", "I know" says the captain "and the first officer landed just to the right".

Fred



I have over 1000 hours instructing in the PA 38 !


Haven’t heard that moniker in a while
Best wishes


Loved the PA 38, in spite of what others feel. Started my flying in the PA 38, many years ago.

Just like learning other stuff, it was really difficult trying to keep to the centre line during the first couple of hours on a plane; after a few hours, it sort of becomes automatic and we don't even think about it anymore :)
 
intrepidflyer
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:37 pm

Interesting. Thanks for the replies
 
Max Q
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:20 am

akoma wrote:
Max Q wrote:
flipdewaf wrote:
When I was learning to fly in the trauma hawk it was always deliberate to keep a bit away from the center line as the shaking caused by lights etc could cause pieces of trim to be released from the cockpit. the steering with your feet could take a bit of getting used to and my instructor could always tell if I had rushed from home to arrive for my lesson as my "clutch foot" was always a bit heavier than the other.

Talking about going straight down the centre line of the runway always reminds me of a particular apocryphal tale:

It is a very windy day with huge and gusting crosswinds and there is a 747 (isn't it always in these tales) coming in to land. The pilots manage a almost perfect landing worthy of praise even in good conditions. The controller comes over the radio and says "good job on landing in these conditions but you did land just to the left of the center line", "I know" says the captain "and the first officer landed just to the right".

Fred



I have over 1000 hours instructing in the PA 38 !


Haven’t heard that moniker in a while
Best wishes


Loved the PA 38, in spite of what others feel. Started my flying in the PA 38, many years ago.

Just like learning other stuff, it was really difficult trying to keep to the centre line during the first couple of hours on a plane; after a few hours, it sort of becomes automatic and we don't even think about it anymore :)



It’s a good aircraft, much preferable to the tiny, cramped Cessna 152 series


Not stable at all but that made it a good trainer, if you can fly it you can fly anything
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
spacecadet
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:41 am

It's all manual using rudder. And you certainly *can* feel it sometimes, even in an airliner. It depends on the winds and the pilot. I have felt like the plane was going to turn over on some takeoffs and landings.

I fly small planes myself and it's a lot harder to keep one of those on centerline (because less mass), but it's the same basic concept, and I've taken off in airliner Level D simulators as well. You know the winds ahead of time and you know the general tendency of the airplane so you put in what you think is the right amount of rudder to start with. As you begin to gain speed, it becomes clear very early whether you need to make corrections, and you do so. If you're skilled, you make just the right corrections and keep the centerline without anyone feeling anything. If you're less skilled, you're having a bad day or the winds are up at the limit, you can end up "chasing" the centerline and oscillating back and forth. This is usually pretty easy to feel. Also, right near rotation speed the plane can start to lose adhesion on the tires and can begin drifting a bit in ground effect, and you can definitely feel the rudder kick in then.

The runways at major airports usually have pretty wide centerlines so it's not that hard to keep on it in most cases. But yeah, it's definitely possible to get off the centerline, or to oscillate from one side to the other.
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fr8mech
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:53 am

spacecadet wrote:
It's all manual using rudder. And you certainly *can* feel it sometimes, even in an airliner. It depends on the winds and the pilot. I have felt like the plane was going to turn over on some takeoffs and landings.


No, it is not all manual using rudder. Airliners have nose wheel steering that can be controlled by 1)A tiller (full authority) 2)Rudder pedal steering (limited authority).
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
Unless it's expressly prohibited, it's allowed.
You are not entitled to a public safe space.
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Starlionblue
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:27 am

The instructor screaming "CENTERLINE!!!" in your ear is a strong motivation to improve. :D
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7BOEING7
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:47 pm

fr8mech wrote:
spacecadet wrote:
It's all manual using rudder. And you certainly *can* feel it sometimes, even in an airliner. It depends on the winds and the pilot. I have felt like the plane was going to turn over on some takeoffs and landings.


No, it is not all manual using rudder. Airliners have nose wheel steering that can be controlled by 1)A tiller (full authority) 2)Rudder pedal steering (limited authority).


Boeing airplanes: Just to be clear generally the tiller is used for initial lineup and rudder pedal steering for the takeoff roll up until the rudder becomes effective at 40-60 kts. The tiller is not recommended above 30 kts and above 20 kts it is easy to end up over controlling when using the tiller.
 
CosmicCruiser
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:06 pm

we never used the tiller once lined up.
 
greg85
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:43 pm

But if you ever do feel a judder, it definitely means the pilot sneezed.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:25 pm

[photoid][/photoid]
fr8mech wrote:
spacecadet wrote:
It's all manual using rudder. And you certainly *can* feel it sometimes, even in an airliner. It depends on the winds and the pilot. I have felt like the plane was going to turn over on some takeoffs and landings.
No, it is not all manual using rudder. Airliners have nose wheel steering that can be controlled by 1)A tiller (full authority) 2)Rudder pedal steering (limited authority).

Yes, but you aren't going to be steering with the tiller during the take-off roll or the landing roll, which is what the original question was asking.
Captain Kevin
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:09 am

AirKevin wrote:
Yes, but you aren't going to be steering with the tiller during the take-off roll or the landing roll, which is what the original question was asking.


True, but I wasn't replying to the op at this point, I was responding to the comment/statement/assertion that:

spacecadet wrote:
It's all manual using rudder


and, it is not. The rudder "steers" the aircraft aerodynamically, only after the aircraft has accelerated to a sufficient speed. Up until then, as noted a couple of times above, rudder pedal steering is used to maintain directional control (on the runway).
When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
Unless it's expressly prohibited, it's allowed.
You are not entitled to a public safe space.
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spacecadet
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:25 am

CosmicCruiser wrote:
we never used the tiller once lined up.


:checkmark:

I'm not sure if some others misunderstood the question or what.
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N1120A
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:46 am

intrepidflyer wrote:
When driving my car on the motorway at roughly 70mph I can feel how small steering movements or corrections have big impacts.

How do planes manage to take off and land so "straight"? You certainly don't feel like plane veering left and right trying to stay on the runway.

Do the wheels lock on a particular heading?

If the pilot were to sneeze and judder the controls during landing or takeoff roll could the plane veer off at high speed?

Just curious!


Sneezing isn't going to do anything, unless it was a really violent, alien sneeze :-P.

Flying is also all about small corrections. That is particularly true in smaller airplanes, but also true in larger ones. You don't feel those small corrections because the weight and stability of large aircraft buffers that. That said, I've certainly had my share of flights on airlines where I could feel fairly sizeable corrections being made on final and especially on roll out.
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Starlionblue
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:59 am

N1120A wrote:
intrepidflyer wrote:
When driving my car on the motorway at roughly 70mph I can feel how small steering movements or corrections have big impacts.

How do planes manage to take off and land so "straight"? You certainly don't feel like plane veering left and right trying to stay on the runway.

Do the wheels lock on a particular heading?

If the pilot were to sneeze and judder the controls during landing or takeoff roll could the plane veer off at high speed?

Just curious!


Sneezing isn't going to do anything, unless it was a really violent, alien sneeze :-P.

Flying is also all about small corrections. That is particularly true in smaller airplanes, but also true in larger ones. You don't feel those small corrections because the weight and stability of large aircraft buffers that. That said, I've certainly had my share of flights on airlines where I could feel fairly sizeable corrections being made on final and especially on roll out.


The closer you get to the ground, the smaller the margins, and consequently the more decisively you have to correct.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
N1120A
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 25, 2019 6:36 am

Starlionblue wrote:
The closer you get to the ground, the smaller the margins, and consequently the more decisively you have to correct.


Decisively, but also smoothly and with greater precision, which means you want to make much more subtle corrections.
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Starlionblue
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:08 am

N1120A wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
The closer you get to the ground, the smaller the margins, and consequently the more decisively you have to correct.


Decisively, but also smoothly and with greater precision, which means you want to make much more subtle corrections.


That really depends on how far you've strayed from the ideal trajectory. ;)
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
N1120A
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:31 am

Starlionblue wrote:
N1120A wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
The closer you get to the ground, the smaller the margins, and consequently the more decisively you have to correct.


Decisively, but also smoothly and with greater precision, which means you want to make much more subtle corrections.


That really depends on how far you've strayed from the ideal trajectory. ;)


Well, yes. Sometimes the rudder needs a nice, firm kick.
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intrepidflyer
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 25, 2019 10:54 am

But on the ground for nose wheel control it's a steering wheel... Or pedals?
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:51 am

intrepidflyer wrote:
But on the ground for nose wheel control it's a steering wheel... Or pedals?


It's both. However, while taking off or landing you'd only use the pedals. The tiller ("steering handwheel" to be exact) has too much authority for very little movement of your hand to use at any significant speed. You'd use it only at taxi speeds.

As an example, the A330 tiller can deflect the nosewheels up to 72 degrees in either direction, and you don't have to move your hand very much to go to the stops. You can make the nose move almost sideways. The pedals only give you up to 6 degrees in either direction, but you have to move your feet significantly to get to the stops.*


* On the A330 the system gradually decreases tiller and pedal authority at high speeds, and I'm guessing this is true of many modern designs, but the point stands.
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intrepidflyer
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 25, 2019 12:02 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
intrepidflyer wrote:
But on the ground for nose wheel control it's a steering wheel... Or pedals?


It's both. However, while taking off or landing you'd only use the pedals. The tiller ("steering handwheel" to be exact) has too much authority for very little movement of your hand to use at any significant speed. You'd use it only at taxi speeds.

As an example, the A330 tiller can deflect the nosewheels up to 72 degrees in either direction, and you don't have to move your hand very much to go to the stops. You can make the nose move almost sideways. The pedals only give you up to 6 degrees in either direction, but you have to move your feet significantly to get to the stops.*


* On the A330 the system gradually decreases tiller and pedal authority at high speeds, and I'm guessing this is true of many modern designs, but the point stands.


Thank you - I think this most succinctly answers the OP.
 
DALMD80
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:09 pm

Flew on Spirit BWI-FLL-STT, both flights I could feel the plane swerving back and forth.
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Moose135
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:50 pm

Max Q wrote:
It’s a good aircraft, much preferable to the tiny, cramped Cessna 152 series


Not stable at all but that made it a good trainer, if you can fly it you can fly anything

I earned my PPL in the Tomahawk while in college. It was a fun little airplane to fly.

One thing I was taught back in those days, that carried on to the bigger and faster aircraft I flew was to look down towards the end of the runway and aim for that, it made for fewer and smaller corrections to stay on centerline, rather than making a slalom course out of the runway trying to keep it straight.
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DALMD80
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:56 pm

Cool.
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Lrockeagle
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Fri Apr 26, 2019 2:55 am

Moose135 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
It’s a good aircraft, much preferable to the tiny, cramped Cessna 152 series


Not stable at all but that made it a good trainer, if you can fly it you can fly anything

I earned my PPL in the Tomahawk while in college. It was a fun little airplane to fly.

One thing I was taught back in those days, that carried on to the bigger and faster aircraft I flew was to look down towards the end of the runway and aim for that, it made for fewer and smaller corrections to stay on centerline, rather than making a slalom course out of the runway trying to keep it straight.

My CFIs always jumped right on “look down the runway!!!” when I was off a bit. Looking down to the end also helps judge height above the runway when landing. Biggest mistake I regularly make
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N1120A
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Fri Apr 26, 2019 5:52 am

intrepidflyer wrote:
But on the ground for nose wheel control it's a steering wheel... Or pedals?


On what? On larger jets, think GIV and up, it is nose wheel for more subtle movements and a tiller for larger turns. On a Grumman Tiger, Cirrus or Diamond, it is a castering nose wheel with differential braking.
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intrepidflyer
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:30 am

N1120A wrote:
intrepidflyer wrote:
But on the ground for nose wheel control it's a steering wheel... Or pedals?


On what? On larger jets, think GIV and up, it is nose wheel for more subtle movements and a tiller for larger turns. On a Grumman Tiger, Cirrus or Diamond, it is a castering nose wheel with differential braking.


Thanks for the replies. My question was regarding commercial airliners/jets and using the tiller for taxiing up to the runway lineup and rudder from there makes perfect sense in how "sensitive" you want your steering corrections to be!
 
N1120A
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Fri Apr 26, 2019 4:51 pm

intrepidflyer wrote:
N1120A wrote:
intrepidflyer wrote:
But on the ground for nose wheel control it's a steering wheel... Or pedals?


On what? On larger jets, think GIV and up, it is nose wheel for more subtle movements and a tiller for larger turns. On a Grumman Tiger, Cirrus or Diamond, it is a castering nose wheel with differential braking.


Thanks for the replies. My question was regarding commercial airliners/jets and using the tiller for taxiing up to the runway lineup and rudder from there makes perfect sense in how "sensitive" you want your steering corrections to be!


They aren't using the rudder, at least not till it becomes effective. Larger jets have nosewheel steering, just not to the extent needed for taxi. They use nosewheel steering to stay lined up on centerline on the runway, during takeoff and landing, particularly when the rudder isn't effective enough to do so.
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slcguy
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:55 pm

N1120A wrote:
intrepidflyer wrote:
N1120A wrote:

On what? On larger jets, think GIV and up, it is nose wheel for more subtle movements and a tiller for larger turns. On a Grumman Tiger, Cirrus or Diamond, it is a castering nose wheel with differential braking.


Thanks for the replies. My question was regarding commercial airliners/jets and using the tiller for taxiing up to the runway lineup and rudder from there makes perfect sense in how "sensitive" you want your steering corrections to be!


They aren't using the rudder, at least not till it becomes effective. Larger jets have nosewheel steering, just not to the extent needed for taxi. They use nosewheel steering to stay lined up on centerline on the runway, during takeoff and landing, particularly when the rudder isn't effective enough to do so.


The tiller is not used during take off and landing, However there is limited nose wheel steering through the rudder pedals, enough to track the centerline on takeoff and landing and even make a high speed turn off taxiway on landing (that takes a little practice to learn when to apply the needed pedal deflection). In reality consider it using the rudder for steering on take off since the nose wheel steering is controlled by the same pedals that move the rudder. The only thing you will notice is the pedals become more effective as speed increases and the rudder itself takes effect.
 
triple3driver
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Re: Staying on the centre line

Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:13 am

You only use the tiller during taxi, once you line up you take your hand off the tiller and place it on your sidestick/yoke/wherever you want if you're not flying. You could use the rudder pedals during taxi if you want, but I don't get why you would do that since the tiller has full authority whereas the rudder pedals do not. Once you takeoff or land you use the rudder to keep yourself centered, subtle movements so that the guy in 29A doesn't spill his coffee. You generally don't feel it simply due to the fact that jets, especially widebodies, are truly massive machines. Using my A330 as an example, the -200 weighs at about 265900lb empty. Meanwhile, my own car is slightly over 4500lb. This means that empty, not counting the various liquids and cargo and bags of meat that you normally find inside both, the A330-200 is about as heavy as 59 midsize SUVs. Needless to say, you feel things a lot more in the car than in the plane, and this is using the smallest variant of a family of aircraft that, when you think about it, aren't really that big compared to quite a few aircraft in the skies.
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