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Old Oct 10, 2012, 07:34 AM
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Nick, one point to remember on the "dive test" is that the old method (steep initial dive, maybe 30-45 degrees) gives unreliable results, and also can be very abusive to the plane. It can run the plane into corners of its flight envelope where responses can become nonlinear, and where aeroelasticity can distort the results. In extreme cases it can damage the plane.

Use only very shallow dives and climbs, 5 degrees or so. Better results, and much less abusive. Pull the nose up 5 degrees and let go, the plane should nose back over into level flight, with maybe 2-3 steadily decreasing oscillations before damping out the disturbance. Push the nose down 5 degrees and let go, it should nose up, maybe a few oscillations before damping out to the original flight path and airspeed.
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