Re: T-tail

Date:         08 Sep 97 02:03:43 
From:         Marc Schaeffer <>
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  or MIME structure wrote:
> I read somewhere that T-tails have poorer handling at low speeds. Why is
> this? Also, what other disadvantages do T-Tails have compared to non-T-tail
> aircraft and what advantages (for that matter) do they have in order to
> be preferred to non-T-tails?

The first jet airlines to have this design -- more exact would be a
cross-tail -- was the Sud-Aviation Caravelle, it had the unusual design
feature of putting the engines in pods by the tail. This left the wing
uncluttered, enabling it to generate more lift. Cabin noise was also
reduced. Following the Caravelle, a whole generation of airliners with
rear-mounted engines and T-tails appeared, ranging from the Douglas
DC-9, BAC 111, and Tupolev Tu-124 to the larger -- four engine --
Vickers VC-10 and Ilyushin Il-62. More ambitious three-engine designs
appeared, including the Boeing 727 and Tupolev Tu-154.

Rear-mounted engines, however, exacerbate problems with the T-tail
design, the worst of which is the deep stall. Deep stalls occur when the
aircraft is flying at a high angle of attack and the wing blankets the
tail control surfaces. If the aircraft stalls under these conditions,
the tail is ineffective and recovery is impossible.

Just my $.02
Marc Schaeffer, Luxembourg //
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