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Mach tuck is an aerodynamic effect, whereby the nose of an aircraft tends to pitch downwards as the airflow around the wing reaches supersonic speeds. Note that the aircraft is subsonic, and traveling significantly below Mach 1.0, when it experiences this effect.
Additional recommended knowledge
Initially as airspeed is increased past the critical Mach number, the wing develops an increasing amount of lift, requiring a nose-down force or trim to maintain level flight. With increased speed, and the aft movement of the shock wave, the wing’s center of pressure also moves aft causing the start of a nose-down tendency or “tuck.” If allowed to progress unchecked, in an aircraft not designed for supersonic flight, Mach tuck may occur. Although Mach tuck develops gradually, if it is allowed to progress significantly, the center of pressure can move so far rearward that there is no longer enough elevator authority available to counteract it, and the airplane could enter a steep, sometimes unrecoverable dive. In addition as the shockwave goes towards the rear, it can impinge upon the elevator control surfaces and this can greatly exacerbate the nose down tendency. Partly for this reason, supersonic and subsonic aircraft often have an all-moving tailplane (a stabilator) which lacks separate elevator control surfaces.
Recovery from a mach tuck is not always possible.[dubious In some cases as the aircraft descends the air density increases and the extra drag will slow the aircraft and control will return. ]
This article incorporates text from Airplane Flying Handbook, a public domain work of the United States Government.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mach_tuck". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|