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Posted by eflyingman | Feb 01, 2011 @ 05:13 AM | 3,004 Views
My experience with a HobbyLobby F9F Panther has prompted me to do some research on the characteristics of planes that are tail-heavy.

My goal is to be able to tell tail-heavy planes from ones that merely need a lot of down-elevator to keep them level (which could be because of a bad angle of incidence of the tailplane or horizontal stabilizer, or even the wing).

"Easy!" you say. "Just balance the plane on its CG and if it balances tail-down/nose-high, it's tail heavy!". Not so easy. It is quite clear to me that there are planes out there that have mislabeled the location of the CG. There are also planes that have a CG that is meant to make the plane more stable or more aerobatic, and I'd like to first find the true CG and then decide if I want the plane to favor stability or aerobatics. Lastly, there are planes out there, bought second-hand or built without manuals where the CG is unknown. It would be nice to figure those out before one crashes it at the field on its maiden flight!

Here is a list of good webpages I found on the topic. If you've got one or know of one, please list in the comments or pipe in with your experience on tail-heavy planes.