Monday, August 17, 2009
Did you know the RA-5 Vigilante, shown above in the title graphic, had no rudder, no ailerons, and no elevators? You can amaze your friends with this one! Actually it's a bit of a cheat. Instead of a rudder the entire vertical stabilizer rotated about a point. Same for the horizontal stabilizers, sometimes called "slabs". Instead of elevators the whole slab rotated about a point, which is standard procedure now in supersonic fighters. Instead of ailerons the Vigi used spoilers, with some differential slab movement mixed in. All in all this setup was pretty advanced for the times.