An elevator is a part of an aircraft. For example, on a Hawker jet, the elevator is found at the rear of the aircraft. It’s used to control the jet’s pitch, which directly affects its angle of attack. On most aircraft, the elevator is typically hinged to the horizontal stabilizer or tailplane.
How an Elevator Works
The horizontal stabilizer located at the rear of the aircraft is responsible for creating a downward force. This movement allows the nose of the plane to shift downward, balancing on the airplane’s center of gravity.
The elevator, located on the horizontal stabilizer, is then required for pitch control. Specifically, the elevator adjusts to either decrease or increase the amount of downward force created.
UP – When the elevator moves up, the nose of Hawker jet or other aircraft comes up and forces the tail down. This propels the aircraft upwards.
DOWN – When the elevator is in the down position, the tail rises and the nose sinks. This reduces the lift and helps the aircraft accelerate downwards.
The Future of Aviation
In an effort to create faster, more powerful aircraft, many engineers are looking for ways to combine the elevator and other moving pieces into one cohesive surface, like the wing. In doing this, an aircraft is expected to weigh less, cost less, suffer from less drag, and reduce the complexity of an aircraft.