F-18 rudders during take-off

Some visitors of this site that analysed the pictures I took on the USS Nimitz (http://cencio4.wordpress.com/2009/10/23/images-from-the-uss-nimitz-cvn-68/), asked me why the F-18 (both C, E and F versions) has the rudders deflected inwards during catapult launches.
That position of the rudders is common to all the Hornets, not only those departing from the flight deck of an aircraft carrier: the rudders are deflected to help the nose raising as the aircraft leaves the ship. Since the vertical fins are angled outwards, deflecting both rudders inwards gives a downward component of lift, which acts behind the centre of graviting generating a momentum that assists the elevators.


About David Cenciotti 3665 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.