A centre stick (or center stick in the United States), or simply control stick is an aircraft cockpit arrangement where the control column (or joystick) is located in the center of the cockpit between the pilot's legs. Since the throttle controls are typically located to the left of the pilot, the right hand is used for the stick, although left-hand or both-hands operation is possible if required.
The centre stick is a part of an aircraft's flight control system, and is typically linked to its ailerons and elevators, or alternatively to its elevons, by control rods or control cables on basic aircraft. On heavier, faster, more advanced aircraft the centre stick may also control power-assist modules. Modern aircraft centre sticks are also usually equipped with a number of electrical control switches within easy finger reach, in order to reduce the pilot's workload.
The centre stick is used in many military fighter jets such as Eurofighter Typhoon and the Mirage III, but also in light aircraft such as Piper Cubs and the Diamond Aircraft line of products such as the DA20, DA40 and DA42.
This arrangement contrasts with the more recently developed "side-stick" which is used in such military fighter jets as the F-16, the F-35 Lightning II and Rafale and also on civil aircraft such as the Airbus A320.
The centre stick originated at the turn of the twentieth century. In 1900 Wilhelm Kress of Austria developed a control stick for aircraft, but did not apply for a patent. Instead, a patent was awarded to the French aviator, Robert Esnault-Pelterie who applied for it in 1907.
A joystick is an input device consisting of a stick that pivots on a base and reports its angle or direction to the device it is controlling. A joystick, also known as the control column, is the principal control device in the cockpit of many civilian and military aircraft, either as a centre stick or side-stick. It often has supplementary switches to control various aspects of the aircraft's flight.
An aileron is a hinged flight control surface usually forming part of the trailing edge of each wing of a fixed-wing aircraft. Ailerons are used in pairs to control the aircraft in roll, which normally results in a change in flight path due to the tilting of the lift vector. Movement around this axis is called 'rolling' or 'banking'.
A delta wing is a wing shaped in the form of a triangle. It is named for its similarity in shape to the Greek uppercase letter delta (Δ).
A cockpit or flight deck is the area, usually near the front of an aircraft or spacecraft, from which a pilot controls the aircraft.
Aircraft flight control surfaces are aerodynamic devices allowing a pilot to adjust and control the aircraft's flight attitude.
The Gloster E.28/39, was the first British jet-engined aircraft and first flew in 1941. It was the fourth non-operational jet to fly after the German Heinkel He 178 (1939), the Italian Caproni Campini N.1 motorjet (1940), and the German Heinkel He 280 (1941).
In aircraft, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. In most designs, the seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it. The concept of an ejectable escape crew capsule has also been tried. Once clear of the aircraft, the ejection seat deploys a parachute. Ejection seats are common on certain types of military aircraft.
A conventional fixed-wing aircraft flight control system consists of flight control surfaces, the respective cockpit controls, connecting linkages, and the necessary operating mechanisms to control an aircraft's direction in flight. Aircraft engine controls are also considered as flight controls as they change speed.
A trainer is a class of aircraft designed specifically to facilitate flight training of pilots and aircrews. The use of a dedicated trainer aircraft with additional safety features—such as tandem flight controls, forgiving flight characteristics and a simplified cockpit arrangement—allows pilots-in-training to safely advance their skills in a more forgiving aircraft.
The Yakovlev Yak-141, also known as the Yak-41, is a Soviet supersonic vertical takeoff/landing (VTOL) fighter aircraft designed by Yakovlev. It was used for testing.
HOTAS, an acronym of hands on throttle-and-stick, is the concept of placing buttons and switches on the throttle lever and flight control stick in an aircraft's cockpit. By adopting such an arrangement, pilots are capable of performing all vital functions as well as flying the aircraft without having to remove their hands from the controls.
A stabilator, more frequently all-moving tail or all-flying tail, is a fully movable aircraft stabilizer. It serves the usual functions of longitudinal stability, control and stick force requirements otherwise performed by the separate parts of a conventional horizontal stabilizer and elevator. Apart from a higher efficiency at high Mach number, it is a useful device for changing the aircraft balance within wide limits, and for mastering the stick forces.
The Chengdu J-10 (simplified Chinese: 歼-10; traditional Chinese: 殲-10; also known as Vigorous Dragon, is a single-engine, lightweight multirole fighter capable of all-weather operation, configured with a delta wing and canard design, with fly-by-wire flight controls, and produced by the Chengdu Aircraft Corporation for the People's Liberation Army Air Force. The J-10 is mainly designed for air-to-air combat, but may also perform strike missions.
A yoke, alternatively known as a control wheel or a control column, is a device used for piloting some fixed-wing aircraft.
Combat flight simulators are vehicle simulation games, amateur flight simulation computer programs used to simulate military aircraft and their operations. These are distinct from dedicated flight simulators used for professional pilot and military flight training which consist of realistic physical recreations of the actual aircraft cockpit, often with a full-motion platform.
The Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar was a VTOL aircraft developed by Avro Canada as part of a secret U.S. military project carried out in the early years of the Cold War. The Avrocar intended to exploit the Coandă effect to provide lift and thrust from a single "turborotor" blowing exhaust out of the rim of the disk-shaped aircraft. In the air, it would have resembled a flying saucer.
The Diamond DV20/DA20 Katana is an Austrian-designed two-seat tricycle gear general aviation light aircraft. Developed and manufactured by Austrian aircraft manufacturer Diamond Aircraft, it was originally produced in Austria as the DV20.
A bubble canopy is a canopy constructed without bracing, for the purpose of providing a wider unobstructed field of view to the pilot, often providing 360° all-round visibility.
A side-stick or sidestick controller is an aircraft control column that is located on the side console of the pilot, usually on the righthand side, or outboard on a two-seat flightdeck. Typically this is found in aircraft that are equipped with fly-by-wire control systems.
A blind flying panel is an instrumentation sub-panel located in the cockpit of an aircraft. Its purpose was to present the necessary information to pilots for flying under instrument flight rules (IFR); it would be used in circumstances where visual flight rules (VFR) would not be desirable or possible, such as during night time or unclear weather conditions. The blind flying panel was prevalently used during the Second World War upon a wide range of aircraft, from fighters such as the Supermarine Spitfire, to bombers and trainers alike. In the postwar era, it decreased in relevance following the increasing prevalence of onboard radar sets and other newer navigational aids.