The vertical tail ( English vertical stabilizer ) is the vertical tail surface , usually at the stern of the aircraft , helicopter or other aerodynamically controlled vehicle . It usually consists of the fixed vertical fin , whose task is to passively improve directional stability , and the movable rudder , which is used to steer around the vertical axis ( yaw axis ). There are versions with one, two ( double tail units ) or three vertical tail units.
The vertical tail unit can also be designed as a V-tail unit in combination with the horizontal tail unit. The Lockheed F-117 uses a combined horizontal and vertical tail that is completely movable. In the case of tailless aircraft, the vertical stabilizer (s) can be attached centrally to the trailing edge of the wing or to the wing tips. In earlier times, the shape of the rudder units was something like a trademark of the manufacturer (e.g. Arado or De Havilland ). Airlines use the vertical stabilizers of their aircraft to mark them with the company logo.
The Boeing 314 (produced from 1938 to 1941) was a very large flying boat . The first prototype had a single fin; it was replaced by a double vertical tail unit to improve lateral stability. When this also proved to be insufficient, a third fin (but without rudder) was installed.
Vertical tail of a Boeing 767 of British Airways (old corporate design )
Tail unit with integrated engine on a TU-154
Three vertical stabilizers on a Lockheed Constellation
V-tail of a Lockheed F-117
Dornier Do-17 1940 over England ( Battle of Britain )
The US military aircraft Fairchild-Republic A-10 ('Warthog' / 'Thunderbolt')
The Consolidated B-24 . B-24 and B-17 were the USAAF's main strategic bombers in World War II
3 side elevation of the Ju 86 P