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When an aeroplane with the centre of gravity forward of the centre of pressure of the combined wing / fuselage is in straight and level flight, the vertical load on the tailplane will be:
  • A
    zero because in steady flight all loads are in equilibrium.
  • B
    upwards.
  • C
    downwards.
  • D
    downwards because it is always negative regardless of the position of the centre of gravity.

Refer to figure.
The tail plane is able to supply the necessary force to balance any residual pitching moments because it is positioned some distance from the aircraft's center of gravity and has a large moment arm.

If the CG is in front of the CP, giving a nose-down pitching moment and there is no thrust/drag moment to oppose it, the tail plane must provide a download to maintain equilibrium. Lift must be increased to maintain an upwards force equal to the increased downwards force.

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