Bever Tales

Trim Tab & Weight and Balance

Here's the (brief version) poop on trim tab set up...IMO

First off, the function of the Trim Tab is NOT to correct an unbalanced aircraft.

It's use is to make small adjustments to pitch control to offset fuel burn and slight changes in passenger weight.
A properly trimmed plane requires two types of balance.
Dynamic and Static.
Static is done through a proper weight and balance calculation.

Quicksilver 2-S Weight / Balance work book.

Dynamic balance is accomplished through a series of test flights.

Set the seating so that you are comfortable.  No need in flying contorted. You fly for enjoyment so get comfortable.
Then set the plane on the scales and perform a proper W & B calculation using the worksheet for your model of aircraft.  If you create an excel worksheet you can then do simulations with different weight (passenger if two place) and different amounts of fuel.    The W & B procedure will tell you where you need to add weight in order for the plane to be in static balance.  In most cases static balance means that if you were to drop the plane from a fixed point at zero airspeed it would fall in a slight nose down attitude.  This point is roughly 33% of the wind cord.
For the most part static balance is easy to accomplish.
Dynamic balance is whole nuther issue.
This is the induced flight characteristic of the aircrafts configuration.   First off, it is imperative that all the planes control surfaces be drum tight. 

On the MX line of aircraft the leading edge of the horizontal stabilizer should be approximatly 1/2" lower than the trailing edge of the stabilizer with the wings root tube in a level position.  This is the ideal position of the stabilizer.  On a double surface wing the ailerons should trail the lower surface.  On the single surface wing the ailerons should follow the course of the wing ribs.  This is a starting point for the aileron adjustment.  ALSO, if you lower the trailing edge of the aileron you will lower the nose of the plane in flight.  This type of adjustment should be done in very small increments.

Test flight.  Use 1/2 the capacity of the fuel on this flight. 
1. W&B completed, the ballast positioned to put the plane in the center of the W&B limits.
2. Stabilizer is at starting point.  

3. Any spring loaded trim assist features should be disconected during test flights.
4. Ideally.... these flights should be conducted in calm conditions.

All test flights should be recorded so that all adjustments are documented.
AGAIN...this is a very brief description on whats required to have a well balanced aircraft.


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