Aircraft Servo Tabs and Other Flight Control Surface Components

The flight control system is paramount for optimal aviation operations, allowing for pilots to govern the flight attitude of an aircraft from within the cockpit with ease. While control surfaces are quite useful, their deflection will often cause a small amount of resistance that can both decrease aerodynamic efficiency and make it difficult to maintain the positioning of a control surface. To remedy such issues, engineers often implement what are known as servo tabs to assist the movement of control surfaces.

A servo tab, also referred to as a Flettner tab, is a small device that is hinged and placed alongside a control surface. Control surfaces will normally span the aircraft from nose to tail, and one can find various hinges present on these control surfaces, each of which are a servo tab. When a pilot wishes to control and adjust a control surface, they will utilize the servo tab to generate enough resistance to move the aircraft in a specific direction. While all servo tabs raise and lower to assist control surface functionality, there are different types of servo tabs to fulfill specific roles.

Most servo tabs can be controlled with the use of a pilot wheel, allowing for pilots to govern surfaces from the flight deck. Generally, servo tabs are used for moving the entire flight control surface while minimizing the amount of force that the pilot needs to provide for actuation. Furthermore, servo tabs allow for the aircraft to be destabilized.

Antiservo tabs are another tab-type found on aircraft, and they are designed to move in the same direction as the stabilator’s trailing edge. Antiservo tabs serve two distinct roles: mitigating the stabilator’s sensitivity while lowering the control pressure necessary for moving and maintaining the stabilator in a specific position. As the trailing edge of the stabilator is pivoted upward or downward, linkages will create the necessary force to move the tab alongside it.

Trim tabs are similar to servo tabs, a common example being the ones placed on the elevator. The elevator is a flight surface on the tail of the aircraft, that of which pilots rely on for moving the aircraft nose up and down. When the tab is pivoted upward into the airstream, the change in force will cause the trailing edge of the elevator to adjust downward. The opposite is seen when the tab is adjusted downward as the elevator surface will move up in response. This type of operation is similar to the trim tabs that support other flight control systems found on the wings and other areas.

Beyond servo tabs, antiservo tabs, and trim tabs, there are a number of other tab-types that may be found on a typical aircraft. As a result, it is important that pilots understand what servo tabs are as compared to other types for the proper procural of items and maintenance. If you find yourself in the market for various flight control system parts and other aircraft components that you can steadily rely on, let the experts at Aviation Store Online help you secure everything you are searching for with time and cost savings for your benefit.

Aviation Store Online is a premier purchasing platform for aviation parts and components, offering over 2 billion top-quality items that have been sourced from leading global manufacturers in the industry. Take the time to explore our massive database as you see fit, and our team members are always ready to assist you through the purchasing process however necessary. Give us a call or email at your earliest convenience or request a quote through our online RFQ service today to begin the purchasing process!


October 12, 2022

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