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What Is Meant by Stability?

As an aircraft flies along a particular flight path, in a straight and level attitude, it will experience external forces (gusts of wind), which will attempt to alter the flight path as chosen by the pilot.

Stability relates to the in-built or “natural ability” of an aircraft to revert to its original condition (or not) without any action being taken by the pilot.

Positive stability means that the aircraft will return to its original flight path without the pilot having to take corrective action.

Conversely, negative stability means that the pilot has to continuously take corrective actions. This considerably adds to the pilot’s workload!

Stability affects all axes of the aircraft and as such has to be considered in relation to both 3-axis and flex-wing microlights.

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